Ochsner finalizes merger with Rush Health, adding 7 hospitals

Dive Brief:

  • Louisiana-based Ochsner Health has officially merged with Rush Health Systems, giving the merged system seven hospitals and more than 30 clinics in the east Mississippi and west Alabama region, according to a Monday release.
  • New names and branding are being rolled out at regional hospitals under the new brand, Ochsner Rush Health, the release said. Ochsner Rush Health will have 250 staff and contracted physicians and 95 advanced practice providers.
  • Ochsner Rush Health is also boosting its minimum wage to $12 an hour, impacting more than 400 employees and representing a $1.5 million investment, according to the release.

Dive Insight:

The two systems signed a letter of intent to merge in June 2021. The completed merger could allow the system to expand access to specialty and subspecialty services, giving patients access to care closer to home, the company said.

Ochsner, which had a leading foothold in the Gulf South pre-merger, will now add seven hospitals to the 40 hospitals and 300-plus health and urgent care centers it has throughout the region prior to the merger.

Ochsner hopes the deal will allow it to expand its technological capabilities and digital offerings, like telehealth, digital monitoring and artificial intelligence across the Ochsner Rush facilities, along with its clinical research network.

Ochsner reported $5.9 billion in revenue and $138 million in operating income for its 2021 fiscal year.

The completion of the Ochsner Rush merger comes as the Federal Trade Commission has heightened its focus on hospital mergers and their potential to reduce competition, with the agency blocking a number of deals so far this year.

Merger and acquisition activity has remained sluggish since last year, though deals are growing in size as megamergers, in which the seller’s annual revenue tops $1 billion, remain an ongoing trend, according to Kaufman Hall’s latest quarterly M&A report.

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