The Crusader Newspaper Group

Methodist Franciscan merger suspended

Crusader staff report

The highly-anticipated merger of Methodist Hospitals and Franciscan Alliance was suspended Thursday, January 11 after both sides failed to agree on several key concerns.

“Unfortunately, after months of thorough and thoughtful negotiations, we were unable to align on critical issues around the financial, operational and clinical service line implications of the proposed partnership,” said Evelyn Morrison, manager, marketing and corporate communications. “These discussions were compounded by headwinds in the healthcare industry.  We are disappointed that this partnership did not come to fruition.”

In a statement, Franciscan Alliance President and CEO Kevin Leahy thanked Methodist’s leadership for their efforts.

“Franciscan Alliance appreciates the opportunity Methodist’s Board of Directors and Executive Management Team gave to explore the possibility of bringing the two systems together in Lake County for the purpose of improving the quality of care and lowering the costs of health care delivery for all six of the two systems’ hospitals in the county,” according to the statement.

“The Franciscan Alliance Board and its management staff have the utmost respect for the members of Methodist’s Board and the excellent leadership team that Franciscan’s staff has had the pleasure to dialogue with over the past year.

“In 2016, spurred by significant shifts within the healthcare industry, Methodist Hospitals Board and Leadership embarked on a process to consider partnering with another health care system. Over the past 10 months, exclusive discussions have been conducted with Franciscan Alliance.  During this time, leadership from both systems and our communities worked diligently to assess what a partnership might mean for employees, physicians, patients and the communities of Northwest Indiana.”

Methodist Hospitals said it is “resolute” in its commitment to continue to look for the right opportunities to chart a path forward that will ensure sustainability, continued growth and success.  “In the meantime, we are financially sound and are confident in our ability to continue navigating the current marketplace. According to Methodist Hospitals officials, “In just the past few months, Methodist earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital Accreditation, was verified as a Level III Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons, and received Magnet recognition from The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).”


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