Metro-East News

Memorial seeks state OK to affiliate with BJC Healthcare

Memorial Hospital East, a 207,000-square-foot, 94-bed all private room hospital in Shiloh is cheduled to admit its first patient in April 2016. The hospital will feature all private patient rooms, intensive care unit, Emergency Department, surgical suites, an array of diagnostic services including imaging and cardiac catheterization and a Family Care Birthing Center.
Memorial Hospital East, a 207,000-square-foot, 94-bed all private room hospital in Shiloh is cheduled to admit its first patient in April 2016. The hospital will feature all private patient rooms, intensive care unit, Emergency Department, surgical suites, an array of diagnostic services including imaging and cardiac catheterization and a Family Care Birthing Center. News-Democrat

Memorial Hospital in Belleville and St. Louis-based BJC Healthcare in St. Louis appear to be moving toward an affiliation, according to paperwork filed with the state health board.

Both Memorial Hospital in Belleville and Memorial Hospital East under construction in Shiloh, which are operated by Memorial Group Inc., have filed applications with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board seeking approval for a change of ownership. The public has until Aug. 5 to submit written comments regarding the proposed ownership change.

Six weeks ago, Memorial Group president and chief executive officer Mark Turner and BJC HealthCare president and chief executive officer Steven Lipstein announced the two companies would spend the next three to four months investigating the benefits of the proposed affiliation.

Kimberly Kitson, spokeswoman for BJC, referred all questions to Memorial Hospital.

Anne Thomure, spokeswoman for Memorial, provided the following statement: “Though we are still in the due diligence phase, we are hopeful that we will move toward an affiliation agreement with BJC later this summer. Given the timeline it takes for review and consideration by state and federal regulators, we felt it prudent to begin the process now.”

The application states Memorial Group Inc. and BJC propose to enter into a strategic affiliation, which meets the state health board’s definition of “change of ownership/change of control.”

The proposed affiliation would be structured as a membership addition where Memorial and BJC would be two corporate members of Memorial Regional Health Services Inc., which was formed as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation on May 15.

Memorial Regional Health Services would serve as the parent corporation of Memorial Hospital and Memorial Hospital-East, according to the application. This non-profit organization would be governed by a board of directors with equal representation from Memorial and BJC. In addition to the overall board, each hospital would be governed by a board of directors.

“Under the proposed affiliation, BJC HealthCare would become a partner in Memorial Hospital Belleville and Memorial Hospital East,” Thomure said. “There would be no change in branding, name or leadership for Memorial Group.”

The proposed affiliation will, the application states, “improve the manner in which health care services are provided to the residents of the metro-east region.”

Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier said an affiliation between Memorial and BJC would be “very good news for healthcare in Shiloh and our region. I have long been an advocate for BJC and Washington University and the healthcare they provide,” Vernier said. “I hope this leads to a Siteman Cancer Clinic on this side of the river.”

With construction underway at two new hospitals in St. Clair County, BJC HealthCare has yet to announce plans for 111 acres in Shiloh that it purchased in January 2008 for $21.6 million.

Construction of Memorial Hospital-East, the $118 million, 94-bed satellite hospital under construction off Interstate 64 in Shiloh, is expected to be completed by April 2016.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville is currently doing preliminary site work for its replacement 144-bed hospital to be constructed off Interstate 64 on North Greenmount Road. St. Elizabeth’s plans to close its 303-bed hospital in downtown Belleville.

If its comes to fruition, Memorial Hospital would be the second location for BJC HealthCare in the metro-east and the first in St. Clair County. BJC is one of the largest hospital groups in the St. Louis area.

BJC has affiliations with hospitals and medical centers in St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, Mo., plus Sullivan, Mo.; Farmington, Mo.; Columbia, Mo., and Alton Memorial Hospital in Alton.

The tentative date of the proposed change-of-ownership transaction is Nov. 1, according to the 101-page application, which cost $2,500 to file with the state health board.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at jforsythe1@bnd.com or 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter: @BND_JForsythe.

Change-of-ownership application filed with the state listed the following total revenue:

St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare: $4.1 billion in 2014 and $3.9 billion in 2013

Memorial Group Inc.: $308 million in 2014 and $311 million in 2013

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