August 17, 2022
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SSM Health acquires academic medical group, deepening ties to St. Louis University

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Dive Brief:

  • SSM Health, one of the largest Catholic health systems, has acquired SLUCare Physician Group, the academic medical practice of St. Louis University.
  • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • As part of the deal, SSM Health said it will make a “significant investment” in St. Louis University School of Medicine to expand clinical research, medical training and education.

Dive Insight:

SSM Health’s acquisition deepens its ties to St. Louis University.

For decades, SLUCare physicians have provided medical care at a number of SSM Health hospitals in the St. Louis region, including at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, St. Mary’s and St. Louis University Hospital.

In 2015, SSM Health acquired St. Louis University Hospital, an academic medical center that SSM’s founding Catholic sisters had a hand in creating in 1933.

At the time, the deal did not include the SLUCare group, which continued to operate as a separate unit from SSM Health even though it continued to staff the teaching hospital.

The 2015 acquisition of the hospital ended Tenet Health’s control over the academic medical center, which it owned for almost two decades. At the time, the sale to the for-profit chain Tenet, which garnered criticism from the Vatican, was reportedly an effort to save the university’s medical school.

Although the SSM and SLUCare have been longtime partners, the closing of the deal formally unites them, leaders said Tuesday.

Adding SLUCare’s more than 600-person physician group will add to the range of services SSM can provide in the region, from SSM Health’s community-based clinicians to academic specialists, Regional SSM President Jeremy Fotheringham said in a statement.

St. Louis-based SSM Health operates 23 hospitals and outpatient facilities across four Midwestern states including Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. It also operates a pharmacy benefit management organization and has a health plan.

SSM Health reported a $57.4 million operating loss for the first quarter ended March 31, and a net loss of $144 million. While volumes improved, they were still negatively affected by the effects of the pandemic as labor and supply costs increased, SSM said.



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