Hospital operators Ascension Health, whose hospitals include St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, and Providence St. Joseph Health are reportedly in talks about merging to create the largest U.S. hospital chain.
If consummated, the deal between nonprofits Ascension, based in St. Louis, and Providence St. Joseph Health, which is based in Renton, Washington, would result in an entity with 191 hospitals in 27 states and annual revenue of about $44.8 billion. Currently the largest U.S. hospital operator is the for-profit Hospital Corp. of America, based in Nashville, which posted about $41.5 billion in revenues last year.
Ascension and Providence did not respond to requests for comment.
A merger between the two would follow such recent developments in the health care industry as the merger between San Francisco’s nonprofit Dignity Health and Englewood, Colorado’s Catholic Health Initiatives, announced on Dec. 8; insurer UnitedHealth Group’s Dec. 6 announcement that its Optum segment was buying the DaVita Medical Group, consisting of almost 300 clinics, 35 urgent-care centers, and six outpatient surgery centers, for $4.9 billion; and CVS Health’s $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, announced on Dec. 3.