SAN FRANCISCO and ENGLEWOOD, Calif. – A merger between Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health is in its final stages, with an aim to expand access to virtual care and advance digital health care innovations, according to executives.
The new combined health system will include more than 700 care sites and 139 hospitals across 28 states, with services in telehealth and home health. The aim is to make the new system a national platform for innovation.
“We are joining together to create a new health system, one that is positioned to accelerate the change from sick care to well care,” said Kevin Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives.
Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of Dignity Health, said the immediate focus of the combined health system will include: the expansion of community-based care, offering access to services in a variety of virtual care settings closer to home; further advancement of digital technologies and innovations like stroke robots and Google Glass; and clinical programs focused on population health and chronic illnesses.
The new organization plans to establish its corporate headquarters in Chicago and operate under a new name that will be chosen in the second half of 2018. Local facilities will continue operating under their current names.
“At the core of what we are trying to do sits with the patient and consumer,” said Dean. “We are looking at using our combined scale to capture the best-in-class clinical service lines and retain and attract the best talent, and look at how we can standardize our operations to improve patient experience, improve quality, reduce cost of care and use our voice to impact the direction and capacity of health care in this country.”
The two systems aren’t strangers: They formed the Precision Medicine Alliance in 2016, creating a community-based precision medicine program that offers patients faster and more accurate treatments based on their individual genetic profiles, Dean said.