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Ascension to buy Presence Health


Ascension, America’s biggest Catholic health system, has agreed to buy Presence Health, the largest Catholic system in Illinois.

Presence Health would become part of AMITA Health, a joint venture between Ascension’s Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health. All Presence Health facilities would be added to AMITA except for Presence Life Connections, which will become part of  Ascension’s senior-care subsidiary, Ascension Living.

And so the hospital-system merger waves rolls on.

To read more, please hit this link.


Presence may be starting turnaround


Chicago-based Presence Health might be making progress toward a financial turnaround, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The paper says that Presence’s financial performance for the first six months of the year exceeded its projections. Still,   with admissions, inpatient and outpatient surgeries and births declining in 2016’s first half, it’s too early to say that the system is approaching broad, sunlit uplands.

Presence,  formed in 2011 through the merger of Chicago-based Resurrection Healthcare and Mokena, Ill.-based Provena Health, had an operating loss of $186 million in 2015, compared with 2014’s $12.7 million operating loss.

To address the system’s financial troubles, Michael Englehart, Presence’s CEO, launched a turnaround plan that includes restructuring the system’s balance sheet.

The Tribune reported that in May, Presence got a $528.1 million bridge loan to be used to pay off loans  from seven banks in 2013. The system’s 2015 operating loss  triggered violations of financial conditions of those loans.

Presence now wants to sell about $970 million in new bonds. The proceeds would be used to refund all outstanding bonds previously issued by the system and its legacy borrowers Resurrection and Provena.

To read the Chicago Tribune story, please hit this link.

Presence Health to lay off 250 to stem red ink


The Chicago-based Presence Health  hospital system plans to lay off 250 employees over the next three months as part of a cost-slashing program stemming from a higher-than-expected loss last year — red ink  that has been reported on this Web site.

The Catholic-affiliated Presence said Wednesday that it had a $185.6 million operating loss  in 2015, compared with a loss of $12.7 million the year before. One-time charges, including a $53 million write-off of overdue patient bills, accounted for about 60 percent of the operating loss.

The job cuts are part of  CEO Michael Englehart’s aggressive effort to turn around Presence’s financial performance over the next two years, the Chicago Tribune noted. He replaced Sandra Bruce on Oct. 1 as head of the 11-hospital system, created in 2011 by the merger of Provena Health and Resurrection Health Care.

The system also won’t fill about 450 jobs that had been  expected to become vacant this year through attrition. The total cut of about 700 positions by year’s end is expected to save the system about $50 million, said Mr.  Englehart.

He said that the  job losses would be concentrated in corporate and support areas rather than in clinicians,.


2015 results of 4 big systems


Herewith 2015 financial results of four big systems:

1. Chicago-based Presence Health had an operating loss of about $186 million on $2.5 billion in revenue, a huge widening from the 2014  operating loss of $12.7 million on nearly $2.6 billion in revenue.

2. Intermountain Healthcare had revenue of $6.1 billion in 2015, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier. But the Salt Lake City-based system’s operating income of $228.5 million was down  24.1 percent from $301.4 million a year earlier.

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic‘s revenue rose 5.7 percent to $10.3 billion. But operating income fell 36.9 percent to $526 million.

4. Cleveland Clinic had  revenue of $7.2 billion, up 7 percent from 2014. The hospital network recorded operating income of $481 million, up 3 percent.

At Presence Health, learning to be Lean

Here’s a special  detailed report on the difficult efforts of  Chicago-based Presence  Health to raise efficiency, improve outcomes and cut costs by using Lean strategies at its hospitals.

A key part of the program is getting frontline healthcare workers to brainstorm to identify flaws in the production process – and achieve “breakthrough rapid improvement events.”


Retiring Presence CEO says partnerships, community health are keys


Sandra Bruce, who is retiring at the end of the month as chief executive of  the Presence Health system, in Illinois, says brokering partnerships is increasingly the key to effective hospital leadership.

Hospitals & Health Networks calls it ” the Starbucks-ification of health care. Hospital leaders — looking to treat the health of populations, focus on wellness and pivot away from acute care — are building up convenient, less costly to operate locations around their communities. They’re partnering with consumer-savvy organizations like Walgreens to add greater, um, presence in neighborhoods, and build brand awareness.”

“Presence Health…with 11 hospitals, is no exception. Earlier this month, it announced plans to partner with urgent care provider Physicians Immediate Care to jointly manage 10 such clinics in the state, and build even more down the line. Those would be open seven days a week and into the evening, offering everything from X-rays to suturing. This is part of a larger strategy to expand the health system’s ambulatory footprint, with 55 sites coming in the first phase.”

Speaking about community health, Ms. Bruce said: “In some cases, it’s going to be safer streets. It could be housing it could be food. I’m not sure what we’re going to find in every community. While we’ve all done these broad community needs assessments, we haven’t really focused on what I call a ‘true population health assessment,’ and then determined what partnerships we need to begin to address those issues.”

“I don’t know if {healthcare is at} a crossroads, but we have an opportunity to step up in this country and reframe what it means to be an American from the perspective of health. And if we step up and lead the revolution to work on some of these social determinants of care, in a decade or two, the country will look very different; our communities will look very different, and obviously health care itself will be delivered in a very, very different way. ”



Joint-venture clinic system for Chicago



Downtown Chicago and the Chicago River.

Two Chicago-based  organizations, Presence Health and Physicians Immediate Care, have formed  a new joint venture to run  urgent-care and occupational-medicine facilities. It’s yet another example of hospitals and outpatient operations such as physician groups  trying to more tightly integrate inpatient and outpatient care, with outpatient steadily becoming  relatively more important.

The venture  cites the  allure of creating more access points for patients,  more care coordination and care in settings cheaper than hospital emergency departments.

Becker’s Hospital Review says the venture “will manage 10 immediate care/occupational medicine clinics, which will be open seven days a week. The organizations will also work together to create additional sites for clinics.”

Physicians Immediate Care will  be in charge of daily management of the clinics.


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