Ascension said to be in merger talks to create nation’s largest hospital chain

Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health are in talks about a merger between the two Catholic nonprofits that would create the largest U.S. hospital chain, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the discussions.

A deal between the two would give the combined entity 191 hospitals in 27 states and annual revenue of $44.8 billion, the Journal reported. That would surpass the current largest U.S. hospital operator, HCA Healthcare Inc.

Ascension, which is based in Edmundson in St. Louis County, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Providence, based in Renton, Washington, declined to comment.

The two have been in talks about a deal for months but have not reached an agreement, the Journal reported. The paper said that unlike for-profit companies, mergers of nonprofit hospital operators do not typically involve one entity’s buying the other.

Although Ascension is based in the St. Louis area, it doesn’t own or operate any area hospitals.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Business Journal

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