Mercy says it will merge with Bon Secour to form health care mega-company

By Jason Hawk -

Mercy Health intends to merge with a large Catholic not-for-profit that does business on the East Coast.

The Lorain County health care provider, headquartered in Cincinnati, is finalizing a deal with the Maryland-based Bon Secours Health System.

The merger is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

It’s unclear where the base of operations for the merged company will be located or what name it will assume.

In a joint statement, Bon Secours and Mercy said they have “a common mission of bring compassion to health care and creating healthier communities.”

“As consumers grapple with the implications of health care reform in a dynamic marketplace, Mercy Health and Bon Secours share a vision to improve the health of the communities we serve as the low-cost, high-value provider,” said John Starcher Jr., Mercy Health president and CEO. “Working together, our strong faith-based heritage fuels our mutual focus to provide efficient and effective health care for each patient who comes through our doors.”

In Lorain County, Mercy runs hospitals in Lorain and Oberlin; a cancer center in Elyria; therapy services at the Mercy Health and Recreation Center in Amherst; imaging and diagnostic facilities in Lorain, Sheffield, Avon, Elyria, North Ridgeville, and Vermilion; and occupational health centers in North Ridgeville and Lorain.

It also runs a handful of other specialized care sites for home health, radiology, gastroenterology, rehabilitation, diabetes, ready care, sleep disorders, and digestion issues. In addition, ground has been broken on a medical center in Wellington.

Bon Secours has operations in Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, and New York. Its efforts include not only hospitals but also skilled nursing facilities, home care and hospice services, and assisted living facilities, as well as more than 800 affordable housing units for low-income families.

Once joined, the companies will operate 43 hospitals and more than 1,000 sites of care. They plan to employ 2,100 physicians and clinicians and 57,000 associates.

The merger will result in the fifth largest Catholic health system in the nation with an estimated $8 billion in net operating revenue and $293 million in operating income.

“We are guided by our shared faith and commitment to partner with communities to create a more humane world, build social justice for all, especially the poor and dying,” said Sister Patricia Eck, chairperson of Bon Secours Ministries. “This merger ensures a strong future for our shared health ministry as we work to bring health and wholeness to those we so humbly serve.”

“We are excited about the prospect of two like-minded health systems joining forces to advance our mutual health ministry and improve the health of our communities,” said Katherine Vestal, chairperson of the Mercy Health board of trustees.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk