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Local News

Intermountain Healthcare and SCL Health to Merge

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KPCW
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Intermountain Healthcare is the largest healthcare provider in Utah and announced plans to merge with Colorado-based SCL Health this week.

The two nonprofit healthcare organizations signed a letter of intent to merge on Thursday. The merger would combine Intermountain’s services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada with those of SCL in Colorado, Montana, and Kansas.

The Park City Hospital and Heber Valley Hospital are both in the Intermountain network.

 

Intermountain has been a secular nonprofit healthcare organization since 1975. SCL, or Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, is a Catholic faith-based healthcare organization founded in 1972. 

The two organizations aim to have a formal merger agreement in place by the end of 2021, with the merger closing sometime in early 2022. The new organization will retain the name Intermountain Healthcare.

If approved, the merger would employ 58,000 caregivers, run 385 clinics, and operate 33 hospitals across six states. The organization would also provide health insurance to about one million people. Intermountain Healthcare CEO Dr. Marc Harrison said the organizations would combine for roughly $14 billion in yearly revenue.

SCL Health CEO Lydia Jumonville said the merger allows both organizations to make healthcare more accessible and affordable to their patients.   

“There are better ways to truly get to health equity," she said. "We need to increase access, we need to try to keep people out of the hospitals, move more into the home, more through telehealth, and those are things that we’ve been doing, but I think we need to accelerate it and I think we can accelerate all of these efforts working together with Intermountain.”

According to Harrison, SCL’s services will gradually be transitioned to the Intermountain brand, with the exception of SCL’s seven Catholic hospitals and 160 clinics, which will retain their names and existing practices. 

Harrison added he believes the merger won’t be flagged by federal regulators, who have said they will look at hospital mergers closer than in years past. 

“We have no geographic overlap, we have minimal payer overlap," Harrison said. "If you can find two systems that have been more committed to keeping costs down, please show them to us. In many ways, I believe that we represent the model merger. Here we are, we’re trying to do the right thing, we’re trying to move towards value, which has been one of the hallmarks of the Biden administration.”

If approved, Intermountain Healthcare will still be headquartered in Salt Lake City, with a regional office in Broomfield, Colorado, where SCL is based. Harrison will serve as the president and CEO of the merged organization. Jumonville will remain in her current role at SCL during a two-year transition period and will then serve as a board member on a new board made up of members of both organizations.