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CHI Franciscan, Virginia Mason ink definitive agreement to combine

Two hospital systems in Washington state, CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason Health System, have signed a definitive agreement to combine through a joint operating company that would be a subsidiary of Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health. 

The two organizations inked the agreement Dec. 21 and made it public Dec. 23. The parties signed a letter of intent to explore a combination in July.

The combination would create a nine-hospital system. Two of the hospitals would be from Seattle-based Virginia Mason and seven would come from Tacoma, Wash.-based CHI Franciscan, which is part of CommonSpirit Health.

News of the planned merger prompted Virginia Mason's 256-bed hospital in Yakima, Wash., to part ways with the health system before it combined with CHI Franciscan. The board of Virginia Mason Memorial said it wants to become an "independent, local healthcare system" instead of joining a larger system. 

The two health systems said they expect the transaction to be finalized around Jan. 1, 2021, pending regulatory approval. 

More articles on healthcare industry transactions: 
For-profit hospital M&A update: 14 deals involving CHS, Tenet and HCA
Philadelphia health system merger clears latest FTC challenge
Illinois system to merge with Northwestern Medicine

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