“Our shared vision is to design one of the best health systems in the nation to serve local communities, the state of Georgia, and beyond,” said Reynold J. Jennings, CEO of WellStar Health System. “The new system will be one of the most innovative and transformational healthcare systems in the industry.”
By combining, the goal is to create a healthcare environment that would offer the best of community-based care and the best of academic medicine, the announcement said.
WellStar Health System said it is Georgia’s largest not-for-profit health system. WellStar includes WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center; WellStar Cobb, Douglas, Paulding and Windy Hill hospitals; WellStar Medical Group, Urgent Care Centers, Health Parks, Pediatric Center; Health Place; Homecare; Hospice; Atherton Place; Paulding Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; and the WellStar Foundation.
Emory University encompasses nine academic divisions as well as Emory Healthcare, Georgia’s largest and most comprehensive health care system and the only one with Georgia with two hospitals that have earned Magnet Designation, signifying nursing excellence.
Formal discussions over the proposal will continue over the next 45 days.
The U.S. has been seeing a surge of hospital consolidations in recent years, as hospitals combine with other hospitals and with clinics and other facilities. In 2013, hospitals and health systems announced 98 new combinations, a 51 percent increase from 2010, according to an analysis by Kaufman Hall, a management consultant firm.
As more hospitals have merged, the Federal Trade Commisson has stepped up reviews to make sure that markets remain competitive. The agency challenged a proposed merger of rival hospitals in Albany, Georgia, contending it would raise prices for hospital services.