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Presbyterian, UnityPoint exploring potential $11 billion merger

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 08, 2023
Business Affairs
UnityPoint Health (pictured here) and Presbyterian Healthcare Services are considering a potential merger. (Photo courtesy of UnityPoint Health)
Presbyterian Healthcare Services and UnityPoint Health are exploring a potential merger that would bring the care of communities in four states under an $11 billion health system.

The two announced on March 2 that they signed a letter of intent to explore the option, which, if approved, would create a parent company for the not-for-profit organization.

Presbyterian operates nine hospitals in New Mexico and employs over 900 providers and has a statewide health plan. UnityPoint runs 20 regional hospitals in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as 19 community network hospitals.

“Presbyterian’s health plan capabilities have the potential to deliver additional services, improve care management and lower costs across all our populations,” Kevin Kirkpatrick, spokesman for UnityPoint Health, told HCB News.

As part of the process, the two are evaluating greater investments they can make in clinical excellence, digital innovation, workforce development and value-based care, as well as how they can lower administrative costs.

Together, both organizations would run over 40 hospital facilities, hundreds of clinics and health plan operations for four million patients and members, with no overlapping markets. This would enable them to retain their brands and provide care locally.

It could also potentially make it easier to avoid the same antitrust scrutiny that has plagued other large mergers, reported Healthcare Dive.

“Like Advocate/Atrium, this deal should not trigger traditional antitrust enforcement thresholds, but may nonetheless face a protracted investigation by the FTC simply because it involves two large systems,” Field said.

They would employ 40,000 workers, including nearly 3,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, as well as independent clinicians, educational partners and colleges.

“As a not-for-profit health system, we must pave a sustainable path forward to continue serving our communities with care and coverage. While we’ve done that successfully independently, we know that partnering with like-minded health systems will allow us to accelerate our efforts,” said Dale Maxwell, president and CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services.

Both healthcare systems are evaluating the merger’s potential, as well as next steps for a definitive agreement and regulatory approvals.

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