The financial deal that was going to have the St Louis based Ascension Health take over the Caritas Christi Health Care System of Massachusetts collapsed yesterday, the victim of financial disputes between the systems on the terms of the takeover. From the Boston Globe:
Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare system and largest nonprofit healthcare system, has 65 hospitals and other facilities in 20 states. The Caritas Christi system is the second-largest hospital chain in Massachusetts after Partners HealthCare System Inc., and employs about 12,000. It includes St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Caritas Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, St. Anne’s Hospital of Fall River, and Caritas Norwood Hospital.
The Caritas System has been troubled for some time, and the deal with Ascension had the potential to create the financial conditions for the continued existence and improvements in the system. Without this deal Caritas will continue to struggle.
The deal’s failure leaves Caritas Christi in a vulnerable position because it is losing patients and has limited access to capital.
“This is a blow to Caritas,” said Ellen Lutch Bender , who runs a healthcare consulting firm in Boston. “Caritas’s ability to stabilize itself long term in the absence of a merger or affiliation will be a struggle.”
With Holy Family in Methuen a part of the system I have heightened concern for the ongoing viability of Caritas. Holy Family is an integral part of Methuen, and we will work to keep it that way for years to come.