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MercyOne, Genesis Health System complete merger


The two systems announced their plans to join forces in September. MercyOne is part of Trinity Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit systems.

Six months after announcing their intentions to come together, MercyOne and Genesis Health Care say they have completed their merger.

The two systems announced Wednesday that the agreement is complete. MercyOne operates 18 medical centers and more than 230 care locations across Iowa. Genesis, which serves a 17-county region in eastern Iowa and western Illinois, is now part of MercyOne.

In September, Trinity Health, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country, said it completed its acquisition of MercyOne. Based in Livonia, Michigan, Trinity Health, a Catholic system, operates 88 hospitals in 26 states. (Trinity Health is not affiliated with any Iowa-based entities using the name “Trinity”.)

Months after joining Trinity Health, MercyOne now acquires a smaller system and gains a bigger footprint in Iowa.

“We are excited to welcome Genesis to MercyOne and look forward to shaping a framework to enhance access to personalized, convenient health care across Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois,” Bob Ritz, president and chief executive officer of MercyOne, said in a statement. “Together, we are stronger and will deliver the highest quality care and the best patient experience to all those we serve.”

Hospital officials said Genesis would retain its name, The Quad-City Times reported.

Genesis’ board of directors began exploring options for a merger in December 2021, and its board unanimously selected MercyOne as its choice for a partner. On Sept. 14, 2022, the systems announced the letter of intent to merge.

Doug Cropper, Genesis Health System president and CEO, said in a statement that merging with MercyOne will offer more care options.

“As part of MercyOne, Genesis will be able to leverage the skill, talent and scale of national and regional resources while retaining our local leadership and focus,” Cropper said in a statement.

“We will deepen our commitment to quality, safety and patient experience and strengthen our workforce retention and recruitment efforts. By joining MercyOne, Genesis will continue our ability to grow, thrive and deliver more integrated care in the region.”

The move also comes with some changes. Genesis Health Services Foundation will remain part of the merged health system. Genesis Philanthropy will be independent of the system and operate under a new name: the Better Health Foundation.

Now that it has joined MercyOne, Genesis Health System is providing the Better Health Foundation with $40 million. The Better Health Foundation will be fully operational on July 1, 2023, the systems said.

While the number of hospital mergers have generally dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry saw an uptick of mergers in the last quarter of 2022. Analysts expect to see more hospital mergers and acquisitions in 2023.

More hospitals could be looking at mergers for strategic opportunities or to provide expanded services, analysts say. As more hospitals are struggling financially in the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as they have used up their federal pandemic aid, some health organizations may be looking to find partners simply to stay afloat.

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