par John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | January 12, 2021
Essentia Health is in talks to acquire 14 CommonSpirit Health-owned rural facilities in North Dakota and Minnesota.
The two signed a letter of intent to acquire St. Alexius Medical Center, a full-service tertiary hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota, and 13 critical access hospitals, associated clinics and living communities run by CommonSpirit and CHI Health at Home home-health and hospital agencies.
“CommonSpirit wants patients in this region to have access to a strong network of rural and tertiary hospitals, primary and specialty care, and telehealth services,” said Dr. Cliff Robertson, senior vice president for CommonSpirit’s Midwest division, in a statement. “Essentia Health is well-positioned to integrate these facilities into a continuum of care, while carrying on the Catholic heritage and mission of these facilities.”
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Essentia offers experience in managing integrated care in rural communities across North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and has more than 13,000 employees, including over 2,100 physicians and advanced practitioners. It operates 14 hospitals, 71 clinics, six long-term care facilities, three assisted living facilities, three independent living facilities, five ambulance services and one research institute.
In addition to Minnesota and North Dakota, CommonSpirit operates facilities in Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin. It formed in 2019 through the merger between Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health, and recently completed the merger
between its healthcare organization, CHI Franciscan, and Virginia Mason to form Virginia Mason Franciscan Health in the Pacific Northwest.
Both Essentia and CommonSpirit aim for the CHI facilities to join Essentia by the summer 2021.
Essentia and CHI Health declined to comment on the potential deal.