Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Legacy Health plan to merge, forming an integrated health system in Portland. The boards of both institutions have approved the proposal, aiming to combine their expertise in community healthcare, education, and research. If finalized, the system would employ over 32,000 people across 100 locations, serving 3 million patients annually. OHSU commits $1 billion over a decade to expand services, while Legacy directs funds to a well-being foundation. The merger’s completion is anticipated in 2024, contingent on regulatory reviews and adhering to state oversight laws.
Emerging as the largest employer in the Portland metro region, the proposed integrated health system envisions a workforce of over 32,000 personnel.
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Legacy Health have formalized their commitment to merge, aiming to create a comprehensive health system within the Portland metropolitan area.
The OHSU and Legacy boards of directors have given unanimous approval to this collaborative endeavor. The two entities intend to pool their diverse expertise to construct a health system that prioritizes community healthcare, education, research, and innovation.
Headquartered in Portland, OHSU functions as a publicly owned corporation with a distinct focus on advancing health sciences through research and education. The institution is renowned for its adept handling of intricate patient requirements and the administration of statewide healthcare training and educational initiatives, as outlined in the press release.
Legacy Health, a nonprofit health system, operates across the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area and the mid-Willamette Valley, delivering an array of medical services. The organization manages hospitals, primary and specialized clinics, as well as outpatient facilities.
Should the merger proposal reach fruition, the consolidated health system would boast more than 32,000 staff members, span over 100 locations, and cater to upwards of 3 million patient visits annually. This would position the health system as the largest employer within the Portland metro district.
Kathryn Correia, President and CEO of Legacy Health, expressed, “Our mission revolves around enhancing the health of our population, patients, communities, and the global community. By aligning with OHSU, we can amplify our capacity to fulfill this mission,” as conveyed in the press release.
She further added, “In addition to ensuring access to top-tier essential healthcare for our patients, the amalgamated system will persist as the region’s preeminent environment for professional growth and learning, all while fostering research and education for the upcoming generation of healthcare professionals.”
Leaders from OHSU and Legacy will actively contribute to the strategy formulation of the merged system, with the primary aim of attracting advanced practice providers, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare specialists. The initiative intends to channel investments into technology, education, and developmental undertakings to empower the workforce.
Danny Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS, President of OHSU, stated, “OHSU and Legacy Health have shared a longstanding partnership grounded in our shared mission to enhance the health and well-being of individuals in Oregon and beyond. This juncture offers us the opportunity to take a definitive stride forward, ensuring optimal accessibility and care for all who rely on us, both now and in the future. We eagerly anticipate this next phase with Legacy, embracing the exciting potential unlocked by our combined strengths and vision.”
In line with the letter of intent, OHSU has pledged a financial commitment of $1 billion over a decade, with primarily bond offerings serving as the financing mechanism. This capital infusion is intended to bolster primary- and community-based services, facilitating the expansion of clinical programs, care venues, care models, and technological solutions in tandem with preserving essential services like preventive medicine, as specified by the organizations.
Legacy Health intends to allocate its available net cash and investments upon closure to a fresh independent foundation dedicated to promoting both physical and mental well-being while also addressing health disparities.
The organizations are actively engaged in drafting a comprehensive agreement over the coming months, with the anticipated transaction closure slated for 2024, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory assessments at the federal and state levels. It is pertinent to note that the deal is likely to face rigorous scrutiny due to substantial oversight requirements imposed by federal and state authorities. Oregon’s healthcare competition legislation, passed in 2021 and implemented last year, empowers state officials to block transactions that might result in elevated costs, reduced competition, or restricted care accessibility.