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CHI Health parent company will merge with the San Francisco system | Living well Nebraska

In the midst of the current uncertainty in medical care, one thing seems certain: change.

Such a change will come to Nebraska and Iowa with the merger of two of the nation's largest healthcare systems, one of which operates with Omaha-based CHI Health.

But the change, which is expected to create the largest non-profit health system in the US, is not expected. UU. Affect the daily health care of people in the Midlands who depend on CHI facilities in Kearney, Nebraska, Corning, Iowa. It will also not affect CHI Health's relationship with Creighton University, including its new center. teaching at Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy.

In fact, even the names of CHI Health's local system facilities will remain the same when their parents, Catholics Health Initiatives of Denver, combine with Dignity Health, a merger that companies announced on Thursday after more than a year. of conversations about the combination of forces.

What will change: CHI Health, based in Omaha, will now have a higher According to Dr. Cliff Robertson, executive director of CHI Health, Dr. Cliff Robertson, executive director of CHI Health, told The World- Herald

: "Continue your work to move away from so-called medical care towards the care that keeps people healthy and out of the hospital." As a combined organization, we will have an even greater opportunity to invest in ambulatory and virtual care environments and (in) provide care closer to home, and even at home, if possible, "he said." That is the common goal that the organization combined will continue to pursue. "

The combined company's headquarters will be in Chicago and will operate under a new name, which will be chosen in the second half of next year, when the agreement is expected to close, the companies said. Its new leaders chose Chicago, they said, because of its central location and easy access to all parts of the country where its facilities are located, which now totals 28 states.

There are no plans to close any facility in any organization, the The merger is subject to federal, state and church approvals, the system will be Catholic.

The Reverend Daniel Hendrickson, president of Creight On University, he said on Thursday he was pleased to learn that the merger is moving forward.

In addition to its partnership with CHI Health in Omaha, Creighton has an affiliation with the St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center of Dignity Health in Phoenix, where Creighton sends some of its medical students.

The university's partnerships with both health care organizations have expanded in recent years, he said, and the merger will allow the university to develop educational opportunities for its students in Omaha, Phoenix and possibly elsewhere.

"Our shared Catholic identity, as well as the Jesuit mission of Creighton, has created a strong bond that will continue to have a positive impact on the individuals and communities we serve," Hendrickson said in a statement.

The mix comes at a time of considerable change and uncertainty in health care and the continuous carryover among its ranks: CVS Health announced plans last week to acquire insurer Aetna. The insurer UnitedHealth Group said earlier this week that it planned to buy a large group of doctors.

Health care systems are under pressure from private taxpayers, such as health insurance companies, to reduce costs. And big changes in how you pay for care, move from individual service payments to more care focused on results, also put pressure on the results of health care systems.

It is believed that with a larger scale, CHI-Dignity will be able to better face these changes.

Robertson, of CHI Health, said that having the strength and resources of an "incredibly large and like-minded" national system, from his perspective, will facilitate the regional health system to cope with change and to continue to do so. investments you need to get to where health care is headed.

Both parent organizations, he said, have done a lot with telemedicine and virtual care. The organization's statement also mentions other technologies among strategic priorities, including stroke robots and Google Glass, which some local CHI Health doctors now use to connect with remote medical scribes.

The organizations also addressed the strengths they expect to come from their larger scale.

"We believe that together, we will build a stronger operational and financial base to better support the people and communities we serve," the companies said in a statement on Thursday.

Catholic Health Initiatives has been navigating waters, turning into operational losses in recent years. Moody's Investment Service, a bond rating firm, lowered the long-term debt of the health system earlier this year, citing "the continuation of weak operating performance in multiple markets." Moody's said the system had reported a "persistent decline in operating performance" since 2012.

Moody's had previously said when the first discussions between Catholic Health and Dignity arose about a possible link that a merger would be "positive credit" for a combined company. Dignity's debt is generally ranked higher than CHI, and the outlook for the qualifying firm in the San Francisco-based health system was positive recently, as opposed to Moody's negative opinion on CHI.

In its most recent annual financial statement, Catholic Health Initiatives reported an increasing operating loss for its fiscal year ending June 30. The company recorded an operating loss of $ 585.2 million in revenues of $ 15.5 billion, worse than its operating loss of $ 371.4 million in fiscal year 2016 in revenues of approximately $ 15.2 billion.

Dignity also reported an operating loss in its fiscal year, which ended on June 30, but a much smaller one. He saw an operating loss of approximately $ 67 million on $ 12.1 billion in revenue in the most recent fiscal year, compared with a $ 63 million loss in $ 12.2 billion in revenue the previous year.

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