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Proposed merger would create 33-hospital network in Louisiana

The board of trustees of Lafayette (La.) General Health and New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System signed a letter of intent to merge, the health systems announced Sept. 25.

Under the agreement, Lafayette General will be the combined system's regional healthcare hub in Southwest Louisiana, and Ochsner will invest $365 million in capital and resources in the region over the next 10 years. The agreement builds on the clinical affiliation between the two health systems.

By merging, the systems would expand access to care, advance digital innovation and enhance clinical services focused on the critical health needs of Southwest Louisiana, the health systems said.

"As two of the leading health systems in our state, we have the responsibility to improve quality and safety, increase access and make healthcare more affordable," Ochsner Health System President and CEO Warner Thomas said in a news release. "It's no secret that we face a number of critical health issues in Louisiana — rising incidences of hypertension, obesity, chronic disease and growing demand for key services such as oncology care, stroke care, women's and pediatric services and more. Joining together, we can tackle these issues to improve healthcare much faster than we can by working alone."

The health systems will now enter a period of due diligence. The deal is expected to close in spring 2020, pending regulatory approvals. If finalized, the combined system would include 33 hospitals, according to Modern Healthcare

More articles on healthcare industry transactions:

Partners' plan to buy New Hampshire hospital blocked by AG
Maryland hospitals merge, unveil name for combined system
6 hospital mergers called off in past year

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