Big healthcare news today: Baylor Scott & White Health says it has signed a letter of intent to merge with Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System, combining two of the largest healthcare systems in the nation.
The yet-to-be-named new entity would cover 68 hospitals—Baylor Scott & White has 49 of them—and more than 73,000 employees. It’d create a system of more than 14,000 independent and academic physicians spanning 30 counties, including significant operations in Dallas, Houston, and Austin.
More from Will Maddox, the new editor over at D CEO Healthcare:
The letter of intent includes the details. A unified board will have an equal number of appointees from both organizations, while Ross McKnight, the current chair of the Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board of Trustees, will serve as the first chair of the proposed combined system’s board. A vice chair will be selected by the Memorial Hermann Health System Board of Directors, to be named soon—and will become chair at the end of McKnight’s two-year term.
Should the deal finalize, Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Jim Hinton would be the CEO of the combined system and would be joined in the Office of the CEO by Chuck Stokes, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann, and Pete McCanna, president of Baylor Scott & White Health.
There’s a press conference on the deal later today. Among a few others, one glaring question includes where the new entity will be headquartered.
Baylor Scott & White sits here in Dallas, where it recently set out to build a new, $70 million office building in Deep Ellum. Memorial Hermann lives in Houston. The presser said only that the combined entity will have “executive and support staff based in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Temple,” without mention of a main hub.
The announced merger comes just five years after Baylor Health Care System combined with Temple-based Scott & White Healthcare, forming the largest nonprofit health system in Texas. No word yet on what the Baylor Scott & White-Memorial Hermann combination will be called, but the systems say they’ll keep their respective branding in place.
More at D CEO Healthcare, and keep an eye over there for updates going forward.