St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare has received permission from the state of Illinois to take ownership of Memorial Hospital in Belleville and Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh.
The move cements an alliance BJC HealthCare and Memorial initially put together in 2015.
Patients should not expect to see any changes in services, according to the change of ownership application filed with the state of Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.
“Memorial Hospital Belleville and Memorial Hospital East are still community hospitals whose mission is to provide exceptional health care and compassionate service,” Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Anne Thomure said in an email Wednesday. “The Memorial brand our patients and the community have come to rely on for almost 60 years will not change.”
While BJC HealthCare now has permission to take ownership of the two Memorial hospitals, it is not purchasing the hospitals, according to the application.
“There will not be an exchange of money as a result of the proposed change of ownership and control,” the application states.
Also, the application states Memorial’s charity care policy “will not become more restrictive for a minimum of two years following the closing of the change of ownership transaction.”
The application states Memorial’s fair market value is $149 million.
BJC HealthCare and the Memorial Group Inc. asked the state board in November to approve the change of ownership. On Friday, Kathy Olson, who chairs the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, signed a memo stating that the change of ownership request meets all state requirements and that the full board didn’t need to review it.
Olson sent a letter Tuesday to Mark Turner, the longtime president of Memorial Hospital, about her decision.
Thomure said Turner will continue to serve as president.
“Memorial will continue to have a member serve on the BJC HealthCare Board of Directors, as well as have representation on some BJC committees,” Thomure said in her email. “We are pleased that patients will continue to have access to high quality care through the network of Memorial and BJC hospitals and physicians.”
BJC HealthCare and Memorial announced plans last month to build a Siteman Cancer Center next to Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh. A request for this project is pending before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.
In 2015, the state approved a partnership between BJC HealthCare and the Memorial Group. This lead to the creation of Memorial Regional Health Services Inc., which is a nonprofit organization jointly governed by Memorial and BJC HealthCare to operate Memorial Hospital in Belleville at 4500 Memorial Drive and Memorial Hospital East at 1404 Cross St. in Shiloh.
Memorial Regional Health Services Inc. will now have one member, BJC HealthCare, according to the change of ownership application, and that BJC HealthCare would have “final control” over the Memorial hospitals. The application said the change of ownership would become effective Monday.
The affiliation between BJC HealthCare and Memorial has produced “cost savings and benefits” for Memorial as envisioned when the partnership was created, the application states.
BJC owns Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Christian Health Services Development Corp., Missouri Baptist Medical Center, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Progress West Hospital.