Big systems get bigger: 5 large hospital deals to know

Large health systems are continuing to grow as regional systems look to consolidate and prepare for the future.

The landscape changes whenever two health systems combine, and independent physicians and surgery centers could see challenges and opportunities when a new system comes to town, especially as hospitals aim to sharpen their outpatient strategies.

Here are five hospital deals from the last four months to know:

1. Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, one of the largest chains in the nation with 186 hospitals, spent $635 million last year to acquire four hospitals in Texas and additional non-hospital healthcare facilities. This year, HCA's Dallas-based Medical City Healthcare purchased a hospital in Sachse, Texas, that had declared bankruptcy last year. HCA also has a large surgery center footprint and acquired two Texas-based ASCs in January.

2. St. Louis-based Mercy announced plans in February to acquire Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kan. Mercy has two other hospitals in Kansas, as well as primary care clinics. The deal is going through regulatory approvals. Mercy also acquired SoutheastHealth in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

3. BJC HealthCare St. Louis merged with Saint Luke's Health System earlier this year, creating a 28-hospital system with $10 billion in revenue.

4. Froedtert in Milwaukee and ThedaCare in Neenah, Wis., also officially combined to kick off the year, creating an 18-hospital system.

5. In December, Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health signed an agreement to acquire Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Valley Health Network to create a 30-plus hospital system with more than 700 sites of care. The combination will strengthen and expand academic programs and sustainable cash flow.

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