[Updated] Presence Health to Join Forces with Ascension

Presence Health, the largest Catholic health system in Illinois, is being acquired by a joint venture of Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S., the companies announced Tuesday.

Presence Health will become part of Amita Health, a joint venture between Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health, that is based in Chicago and part of Ascension that encompasses nine hospitals and a physician provider network.

Presence Health is a major health system based in Chicago that has 150 locations around the state, including 12 hospitals, and 27 long-term care and senior living facilities, according to its website. The system served about 3,700 non-dual Medicare beneficiaries in 2014, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).


If the deal goes through, Presence Health will add its medical centers, outpatient facilities and other sites of care to Amita’s integrated health system.  All Presence Health facilities except those that operate under the Presence Life Connections banner would become part of Amita Health. Presence Life Connections, which encompasses 40 health care locations that offer short-term rehab services, home health care and senior living, would instead be folded into Ascension’s senior care subsidiary, Ascension Living. Ascension’s Healthcare Division operates 2,500 sites of care in 22 states, including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities.

It’s not currently clear what the final brand identity of the overall company will be, a Presence Health spokesman told Home Health Care News.

“Much like the Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health facilities, some form of the legacy Presence Health name would continue to be part of the facilities,” the spokesperson explained in an email. “Under the tentative agreement, Presence Life Connections (PLC), which provides nursing home and hospice care, would join Ascension Living, the health system’s senior care subsidiary. While still to be determined, PLC may remain under the Presence Health name.”


It’s also not yet determined whether the merger will involve any changes in leadership or staffing.

“As Presence Health and Amita work together to provide the most efficient, highest-quality care possible, we expect to create opportunities to reduce costs and create service efficiencies. While this may include some staff changes, we have not yet reached a definitive agreement on the transaction and there are no details at this point,” the spokesperson said.

“Joining Ascension and Amita Health is a natural evolution for Presence Health, especially given the mutual respect between our systems and our shared mission, vision and values to provide quality, faith-based care,” Michael Englehart, president and chief executive officer of Presence Health, said in a statement. “We look forward to working together to engage in this joint effort to expand, and continue to deliver, quality care for our patients and residents, as well as provide additional clinical opportunities and patient care resources to all our physicians and associates.”

Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Written by Tim Regan

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