Hartford HealthCare has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport from Ascension. Financial details were not disclosed.
“Our goal, in coordination with the board of St. Vincent’s, has been to position St. Vincent’s so its associates, physicians and volunteers can continue to provide safe, high-quality health care to the Bridgeport and Fairfield County community,” said Patricia A. Maryland, executive vice president of St. Louis-based Ascension and president and CEO of Ascension Healthcare.“In our rapidly evolving health care environment, health care providers have a greater opportunity to successfully serve individuals and communities by working in clinically integrated systems of care,” Maryland said. “And Hartford HealthCare is Connecticut’s most comprehensive health care network.”
St. Vincent’s, with more than 3,200 associates, includes a licensed 473-bed community teaching hospital, a 76-bed inpatient psychiatric facility in Westport, a large multispecialty provider group, and St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services. The transaction would not include St. Vincent’s College or other mutually agreed upon assets.
In December, rumors made the rounds that Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health were in talks about merging, which would have created the largest U.S. hospital chain. Neither party would officially comment at that time.
If the newly announced transaction is completed, Hartford HealthCare would continue to operate St. Vincent’s in compliance with Catholic traditions.
Hartford Healthcare is a fully integrated health system with more than 19,000 employees, including acute-care hospitals, the state’s most extensive behavioral health network, a large multispecialty physician group, a regional home care system, an array of senior care services, a physical therapy and rehabilitation network, and an accountable care organization.
“Hartford HealthCare would be privileged to partner with the people of St. Vincent’s who have done so much for their communities,” said Hartford Healthcare CEO Elliot Joseph. “Together, we can provide even broader access to St. Vincent’s excellent care to residents of Fairfield County.”
“Importantly, Hartford HealthCare’s mission, vision and values are compatible with those of Ascension and St. Vincent’s,” said Dawn Rudolph, president and CEO of St. Vincent’s. “We are looking forward to reaching an agreement that reaffirms our commitment to serving the Fairfield County community. During this time, we know that all of our associates, physicians and volunteers remain committed to delivering the same type of safe, compassionate, personalized care our community has come to expect.”
The completion of the transaction is subject to due diligence and receipt of all applicable governmental approvals.
Ascension, which is the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, has reportedly been discussing a restructuring that would include transitioning from a hospital-oriented system to one that focuses on outpatient care and telemedicine.