Two of the biggest healthcare systems sign letter to merge

Two of the biggest health systems in Texas signed a letter of intent to merge Oct.1, a commitment the companies believe will strengthen healthcare in Central Texas.

Baylor Scott and White Health and Memorial Hermann Health System are the two Texas nonprofits that will soon share the same brand. Both are founded as faith-based organizations, and with its combined goal, will serve Dallas, Austin, Central Texas, Houston and Temple.

According to the letter of intent to merge, Jim Hinton, CEO of Baylor Scott and White, will act as the first CEO of the combined system. The merger will also include a unified board of trustees with an equal number of members from both organizations.

“Now that the letter of intent has been signed, we will immediately begin a period of due diligence and the standard regulatory review process,” said a written statement from Baylor Scott and White. “A new name for the combined system will be determined before closing, however, Baylor Scott & White Health and Memorial Hermann will continue to operate under their strong, highly regarded brands in their respective service areas.”

The decision to merge came not long after Buda City Council voted unanimously Feb. 20 to approve the economic development agreement between Baylor Scott and White and the city’s EDC.

Baylor Scott and White currently has three facilities in Hays County in the form of clinics in Kyle and San Marcos, as well as a clinic in the Dripping Springs area.

Officials broke ground on a full-service hospital in Buda in April with plans to have the facility open by summer 2019.

The merger will create a health care system that spans the state and employs more than 70,000 people in all of its areas.

Baylor Scott and White officials told the Hays Free Press that the goal of the merger is to combine the strengths and commitments of both systems to advance the health of Texans and transform the delivery of care.

A new name for the merger has not been selected, but both companies are in exclusive negotiations during this early stage of planning.

The merger is expected to be completed in 2019. The first chair of the new combined board will be Ross McKnight, the current chair of the Baylor Scott and White Holdings Board of Trustees.

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