Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health are in Merger Talks | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health are in Merger Talks

October 25, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

Englewood, Colorado-based health system Catholic Health Initiatives is in merger talks with San Francisco-based Dignity Health to potentially create one of the largest nonprofit health systems by revenue in the country.

In a press release, the two health systems announced they have signed a “non-binding letter of intent to explore aligning their organizations and expanding their mission of service in communities across the nation.”

The potential merger would the latest in a steady stream of mega-mergers in the healthcare industry.

The boards and sponsors of the two health systems are evaluating the potential alignment to strengthen their leadership role in transforming healthcare through increased access and enhanced clinical excellence, the health systems stated in the press release.

Catholic Health Initiatives operates in 18 states, but not in Arizona, California and Nevada, where Dignity Health operates its hospitals, along with 19 other states. The deal would combine Catholic Health Initiatives’ 103 hospitals, including four academic health centers, with Dignity Health’s 39 hospitals. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, combined revenue for the new organization would reach $27.8 billion annually, based on the most recent financial statements.

According to WSJ reporter Melanie Evans, “Catholic Health Initiatives has faltered in recent years with weak or negative operating margins after a push into health insurance stalled and hospital operations struggled after a string of acquisitions.”

“The potential to align the strengths of these two organizations will allow us to play a far more significant role in transforming health care in this country,” Kevin Lofton, chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives, said in a statement. “Together, we could enhance our shared ministry as the health industry transitions to a system that rewards the quality and cost-effectiveness of care.”

“Health care is at a turning point in our nation,” Lloyd Dean, president and chief executive officer of Dignity Health, said in a statement. “Through a stronger strategic and financial foundation, an aligned ministry would accelerate our ability to advance our healing mission into the future.”

The merger talks follow last month’s announcement that the two health systems are collaborating on a large, community-based precision medicine program, called the Precision Medicine Alliance LLC, which could be available to approximately 12 million patients annually.

In the press release, health system officials state that the organizations complement one another in many other important ways. “CHI brings a diverse geographic footprint with proven clinical service lines and home-health capabilities, as well as successful partnerships in research and education. Dignity Health has a proven operating model that has successfully scaled enterprise-wide initiatives to ensure consistent practices across the system, and is well known for its work with innovative, diversified care-delivery partnerships. There is no geographical overlap of acute care facilities,” health system officials wrote.

It is anticipated that discussions will continue through early 2017.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Study will Leverage Connecticut HIE to Help Prevent Suicides

A new study will aim to leverage CTHealthLink, a physician-led health information exchange (HIE) in Connecticut, to help identify the factors leading to suicide and to ultimately help prevent those deaths.

Duke Health First to Achieve HIMSS Stage 7 Rating in Analytics

North Carolina-based Duke Health has become the first U.S. healthcare institution to be awarded the highest honor for analytic capabilities by HIMSS Analytics.

NIH Releases First Dataset from Adolescent Brain Development Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of the first dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which will enable scientists to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.