Broomfield-based SCL Health, a major provider of health care in Colorado, Montana and Kansas, announced Thursday it intends to merge with Intermountain Healthcare.
If approved by regulators, the merger of the two nonprofit integrated hospital networks would create a 33-hospital system with more than 58,000 caregivers and run 385 clinics across six states, including the Front Range hospitals: St. Joseph Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center and Platte Valley Medical Center.
"With this merger we will create a model population health value oriented system that provides high quality, affordable and accessible care to more patients and communities in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, Montana and in Kansas," said Dr. Marc Harrison, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare.
"We feel strongly that American health care needs to evolve towards population health and value. This merge accelerates that movement regionally and nationally."
SCL Health President and CEO Lydia Jumonville said the two health systems have had relationships since 2018. Although SCL is a faith-based system, while Intermountain is a secular one, Jumonville said they have more similarities than differences such as being non-profits, having strong financial records and have both been in their communities for more than century.
"This conversation about merger started taking place when we realized late last fall that Intermountain was interested in growing outside of Utah," Jumonville said. "This caused us to talk about what we could to together in creating this Western system with a new model of care that truly is focused on providing value through high quality, affordable care."
Through the merger, the new combined organization will be headquartered in Salt Lake City, while SCL Health's current headquarters in Broomfield will be a regional office.
Despite the relocation, officials said there are no plans for layoffs or the need for employees to relocate.
"This merger is not being done because we personally need to cut costs or be bailed out or have any kind of turn around," Jumonville said. "Because we have no geographic overlap of our markets we expect very little change with any of our care sites."
As part of the merger, SCL Health will change its name to Intermountain Healthcare, Jumonville said.
"Intermountain's name and brand is very strong and not just in their market, but nationally," Jumonville said. "It pretty much is synonymous to people with high quality health care and our brand has only been around for a decade. We were looking to rebrand ourselves anyway, so it's a great opportunity."
Regardless of the name change, SCL Health's Catholic hospitals will retain their names and Catholic identity.
"Intermountain has just embraced us continuing our Catholicity," Jumonville said.
The new combined organization is will be led by Harrison. Jumonville will remain in her current role as CEO of SCL Health during a two year integration and will serve as a board member on the organizations new, combined board.
Jumonville said she will lead the integration of the system, which includes developing and sifting its governance structure and helping Harrison elect a leadership team.
The definitive agreement is expected to be signed by the end of the year and the merger could close in early 2022, pending regulatory approvals, Harrison said.
Harrison said this merger is the signal of great things to come.
"This is a great day for our organization, our caregivers and the people in the communities we serve," Harrison said. "We also believe it's a great day for health care in the United States as it promotes and advances the cause of affordable, high quality and accessible care delivered in a value based model."