By Bob Herman
October 26, 2020
Intermountain Healthcare and Sanford Health have agreed to merge, creating a system of 70 hospitals, hundreds of physician practices, and two health insurance companies across the West and Midwest, pending state and federal regulatory reviews.
Why it matters: A combined Intermountain-Sanford system would generate $15 billion of annual revenue, making it bigger than BlackRock or Uber, and would highlight how hospital systems are still pushing to consolidate despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Between the lines: Intermountain and Sanford have both benefited from coronavirus bailout funding, registering a combined $300 million in taxpayer-funded payments, according to financial statements.
- Intermountain and Sanford, both tax-exempt systems, have also registered operating and net profits in the first half of this year, despite the slowdown in care due to the pandemic.
What they’re saying: Intermountain CEO Marc Harrison said in a statement the merger will allow the two systems to “make health care more affordable for our communities.”
- Reality check: Academic literature has consistently shown hospital mergers lead to higher prices and no improvement in care quality.