- Intermountain Healthcare and SCL Health completed their merger, creating one of the nation's largest nonprofit health systems, the two organizations announced Tuesday.
- The new system, which will use the Intermountain name to reflect the parent entity, will operate 33 hospitals and hundreds of clinics across seven states and insure 1 million people in Utah and Idaho.
- Colorado's attorney general signed off on the merger last week after conducting a review, concluding the tie-up will not result in a material change to the charitable purposes of nonprofit SCL Health, based in Colorado, and that SCL assets will not leave the state.
For Intermountain, the deal turns the Utah-based system into a bigger regional player.
With SCL Health, Intermountain expands into new states including Colorado, where SCL already has a large presence. In western Colorado, SCL has the leading market share and treats about one in seven inpatient cases in the state, according to a previous report from Fitch Ratings. The nonprofit system also leads in Montana, Fitch noted.
It was Intermountain's failed bid to merge with Sanford Health in late 2020 that served as a signal the system was open to a partner and expanding outside of its core market, executives said previously.
The Intermountain-Sanford Health merger unraveled when the CEO of Sanford at the time, Kelby Krabbenhoft, resigned after igniting controversy for refusing to wear a mask during the pandemic.
The combined organization of Intermountain and SCL will be led by Intermountain's current CEO Marc Harrison, who has touted the deal as a model merger.
"With this merger, we'll create a model for the future of healthcare that focuses on keeping people healthy and proactively addresses causes of illness through high-quality, affordable, and accessible care to more patients," Harrison said in a statement Wednesday.
Lydia Jumonville, SCL's CEO, will serve as the executive sponsor and will work to integrate the two systems alongside Harrison and serve on the board.
Mike Leavitt, former secretary of the HHS under former President George W. Bush, will serve as board chair. Leavitt also is a former governor of Utah.
While this merger has succeeded, antitrust officials have stymied other recent attempts. Rhode Island's two largest health systems have scrapped plans to merge following a legal challenge from the Federal Trade Commission and the state's attorney general.
The Biden administration has made it a priority to crack down on consolidation in the healthcare industry, and issued an executive order calling on antitrust agencies to review and revise merger guidelines, a process that is underway.