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Tennessee hospital system completes acquisition of Mississippi system


Baptist Memorial Health Care, based in Memphis, has completed its merger with Anderson Regional Health System.

Baptist Memorial Health Care has become one of the largest health systems in the South in recent years, and it just got a little bigger.

Image credit: Baptist Memorial Health Care

David Little, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care, says he's excited about the acquisition of Anderson Regional Health System. (Image: Baptist Memorial)

This month, Baptist Memorial completed its acquisition of Anderson Regional Health System. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Baptist Memorial now adds Anderson's two hospitals, a regional cancer center and a network of clinics to the organization.

Anderson is based in Meridian, Mississippi and serves the surrounding region, including some of western Alabama.

With the move, Baptist Memorial now manages 24 hospitals and a host of clinics and outpatient facilities in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

The deal officially concluded Jan. 1, and Baptist Memorial officials held an event Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the deal.

“I am excited to welcome Anderson Regional to the Baptist family,” Jason Little, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care, said in a statement.

“With similar missions and close geographic proximity, we serve a comparable patient population who face many of the same issues,” Little said. “By joining forces, we can combine our resources and expertise to help enrich the health of the community and ensure ongoing access to high-quality and advanced medical services throughout East Central Mississippi and West Central Alabama.”

Baptist Memorial now operates 12 hospital systems in Mississippi. In 2017, Baptist merged with Mississippi Baptist Health System.

With the merger, Anderson’s hospitals will take on the Baptist brand. They will be renamed as Baptist Anderson Regional Medical Center and Baptist Anderson Regional Medical Center-South.

Little said at this week’s event that is focused on “preserving what Anderson has built over the decades.”

“It was a very simple decision for us,” Little said. “This was an opportunity for one plus one to make hopefully three, or four, or five, for this community, to really be able to expand our mission and to do something special together.”

John G. Anderson, Anderson’s president and CEO, is the grandson of the founder of Anderson Regional. He said in a statement that joining Baptist Memorial represents “an opportunity to continue my grandfather’s legacy for health care in Meridian.”

“He started Anderson just 12 months before the Great Depression, and through creativity, ingenuity and determination made the hospital a success,” Anderson said. “His focus was on the future, and merging with Baptist Memorial allows us to stay laser-focused on the future of providing quality healthcare for this region.”

Baptist Memorial says it will be bringing Anderson Regional onto the Epic electronic health system, among other improvements. The systems signed a shared mission statement in October signaling their plans to come together.

Some analysts are projecting to see more hospital mergers in the near future.

Ash Shehata, KPMG’s U.S. sector leader for healthcare, told Chief Healthcare Executive® that he expects to see more mergers, including systems in one state expanding their presence in a neighboring state.

A few health systems have begun the new year by completing mergers.

On Jan. 1, BJC HealthCare and Saint Luke’s Health System completed their merger of the Missouri hospital systems. The combined organization is now moving forward as BJC Health System. The integrated academic health system boasts $10 billion in revenue and operates 24 hospitals.

Froedtert Health and ThedaCare, both based in Wisconsin, finalized their merger agreement in late December. The combined system operates 18 hospitals and has a combined revenue of more than $4 billion.

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