FAQs

General

  • What did Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health announce in a definitive agreement?

    Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives have signed a definitive agreement to create a new, nonprofit health system focused on creating healthier communities. The new system will bring together two organizations with complementary missions, capabilities, and talent bases, enabling each to scale their clinical advancements across a combined system. Dignity Health has an operating model that has scaled programs to ensure consistent best practices across the system, and brings capabilities in innovation and diversified care-delivery partnerships. Catholic Health Initiatives has a diverse geography with clinical service lines and home health capabilities, as well as affiliations in research and education. With no geographic overlap of hospital service areas, Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives will combine complementary resources and capabilities to create a stronger system to increase investment in critical areas to advance quality care and access.

  • Who is Catholic Health Initiatives?

    Catholic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit, faith-based health system formed in 1996 through the consolidation of four Catholic health systems, expresses its mission each day by creating and nurturing healthy communities. As one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems, Englewood, Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives operates in 18 states with 101 hospitals, including two academic health centers and major teaching hospitals as well as 30 critical-access facilities; community health services organizations; nursing colleges; home health agencies; senior living communities; and other facilities and services. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, Catholic Health Initiatives provided $2.1 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unpaid cost of government programs.

  • Who is Dignity Health?

    Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health care systems, is a 22-state network of more than 9,000 physicians and other advanced practice clinicians, and 63,000 employees. The faith-based organization was formed in 1986 when two congregations of the Sisters of Mercy joined their ten hospitals together to form Catholic Healthcare West. Six congregations of women religious now sponsor the organization under the name Dignity Health, which now includes over 400 care centers, including hospitals, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, and primary care clinics. Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health’s mission is to emphasize providing compassionate, high-quality, and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable, in partnership with the communities it serves. In fiscal year (FY17), Dignity Health provided $2.6 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unpaid cost of government programs.

  • Why are the two organizations combining?

    By combining our complementary resources and capabilities, we will create a stronger system to increase investment in critical areas to advance quality of care and access. The new organization will have the size and ability to scale best-in-class clinical service lines; recruit and retain top talent; standardize operations to improve quality and reduce the cost of care; advocate more effectively for all people, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. We will focus on expanding access to outpatient and virtual care settings offering care closer to home, and continuing to invest in clinical programs to keep aging populations and people suffering from chronic illnesses healthier. We will increase our investments in digital technologies and innovations like tele-medicine programs, stroke robots, and Google Glass, which create a more personalized and efficient care experience regardless of location.

  • What is the name of the new organization? Will my local facility keep its name? Have any branding decisions been made?

    A new system name for the combined organization will be selected by the new board in the second half of 2018 and all existing facilities will continue to operate under their current names. The brand strategy for the new system is currently being developed. Additional information will be available in the second half of 2018.

  • Is one organization acquiring the other?

    No. The two organizations are combining to create a new Catholic, nonprofit health system. Neither organization is acquiring the other.

  • Are Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives combining because of finances?

    Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health are joining together to continue to advance quality care and access. There is no doubt that healthcare will only be more challenging in the future, particularly for organizations that are committed to caring for vulnerable populations. We believe that together, we will build a stronger operational and financial foundation to better support the people and communities we serve. With strong leadership, sound strategic direction, commitment to ministry, and thoughtful stewardship, the new system will focus on creating healthier communities. We will accelerate improvements in health care delivery that promote the shift from sick- to-well-care. With no geographic overlap in hospital service areas, we will integrate our more than 700 care sites and 140 hospitals across 28 states, working with our more than 25,000 physicians and other advanced practice clinicians and approximately 159,000 employees.

  • How is the new organization better positioned to address potential changes impacting health care policy?

    With a larger geographic footprint representing diverse populations across the U.S., the new system will help advance the shift from sick-care to well-care, expand access to outpatient and virtual care settings offering care closer to home, and more effectively advocate for the growing number of people who are poor and vulnerable.

  • What approvals are required for the combination?

    The combination is subject to federal, state, and church approvals.

  • What is the timeline for the completion of the combination?

    The combination is anticipated to close in the second half of 2018. Until then, both organizations will focus on operational performance and preparing for a successful integration.

About The New Ministry

  • What will the new ministry look like? Who will be the CEO of the new ministry?

    The new ministry will be created by combining Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health into a single, Catholic, nonprofit health system. The new system will have an Office of the CEO. Lloyd Dean, Dignity Health’s CEO, and Kevin Lofton, CHI’s CEO, will both serve as CEOs, each with specific and independent responsibilities and decision-making authority. Together, the CEOs will jointly oversee strategy and integration planning. Lofton will have authority for mission, advocacy, sponsorship and governance, system partnerships, and information technology. Dean will have authority for all of operations, including clinical, financial, and human resources. They will work side-by-side with the executive team to plan a successful integration. Both CEOs will report to the board. We arrived at this structure following a thorough due diligence process with the objective of leveraging each organization’s strengths and creating the most effective leadership structure for long-term success.

  • What will be the mission, vision, and values of the new ministry?

    Identifying the mission, vision, and values will be one of the most important things we will do as a new organization. We are fortunate that Dignity Health’s and Catholic Health Initiatives’ mission and vision statements, as well as their core values, are already very similar. And, we know from the results of the cultural assessment survey, that employees of both organizations feel a strong connection to the mission, vision, and values of their respective organizations. Guided by the heritage of our founding congregations, the discernment – a structured process for developing the new system’s mission, vision, and values – will be an inclusive process that takes into account a broad array of stakeholders. We anticipate that this process will be completed in time to be implemented at the close of the combination.

  • Where will the new organization be headquartered, and how was it chosen?

    The combined organization will establish its corporate headquarters in Chicago, a new location for a new organization. This decision was made because Chicago is centrally located, has convenient access to all parts of the country where our ministries are located, and offers good infrastructure to support a national organization.

  • What does the geographic footprint of the combined system look like (e.g., where will the new system operate)?

    The new system will operate in 28 states.

  • Will any of Catholic Health Initiatives’ or Dignity Health’s existing facilities close as a result of the combination?

    There are no current plans to close any facilities as a result of the combination.

Catholic Identity

  • Will the new system be Catholic? Will the facilities that are other-than-Catholic become Catholic?

    Yes. Consistent with the heritage of the two legacy organizations, the new ministry will be Catholic. Other-than-Catholic facilities will not become Catholic. They will continue to operate under the Statement of Common Values and in alignment with the combined ministry’s mission and values.

  • Were the Sisters part of the decision to combine the two ministries?

    Yes. Dignity Health’s Sponsorship Council and Board, and Catholic Health Initiatives’ Board of Stewardship Trustees all agreed that the combination is in the best interests of both organizations to better support the health needs of the people and communities we serve.

  • Can you describe the governance structure of the new ministry?

    The current governing bodies of both organizations have jointly agreed to create a new Board of Stewardship Trustees comprised of 14 members, including six from each legacy board and the two CEOs. The board will be selected based on the competency needs of the new organization and with the goal of creating a board with the right composition to support our future strategy. The new board will serve as both sponsors of the canonical – or church corporation, named the Catholic Health Care Federation – and the civil corporation, which has not yet been named.

  • Who will be on the board? How will they be chosen?

    The new Board of Stewardship Trustees will reflect equal representation initially to include 14 members, six from each legacy board and the two CEOs. The board will be selected based on the competency needs of the new organization and with the goal of creating a board with the right composition to support our future strategy.

People & Communities We Serve

  • How will the combination affect the people and communities we serve?

    People will continue to receive high-quality care at the hospitals and facilities in their communities. The combination will build on the complementary strengths of both systems, creating a new organization that will share a commitment to whole-person care and leading clinical practices. The new system will focus on standardizing clinical practices and reducing clinical variation to help better manage health care costs for people, communities, and employers. The new system will also provide greater access to research and innovative technology. For example, precision medicine cancer care typically available only at academic medical centers will be available in more communities – enabling patients to receive leading-edge cancer treatment closer to home.

  • Will patients and residents be able to see the same doctors or other providers?

    We do not anticipate any disruption in service or access as a result of the combination.

  • Will there be staffing changes at local hospitals or facilities?

    We do not anticipate any changes to staff directly serving the people and communities we serve as a result of this combination.

  • Will my insurance still be accepted? How will this impact patient billing processes?

    Yes. If your insurance is accepted today, it should be accepted tomorrow. We do not anticipate any immediate changes with your insurance acceptance at our hospitals and facilities as a result of the combination. Our patient billing processes remain the same for the foreseeable future. Should there be any change, we will provide notice to the people and the communities we serve.

  • I've read that mergers (combinations) can result in consumers paying higher prices for services. Will that be the case?

    There are no overlapping hospital service areas in this combination – and thus no reduction in competition. Additionally, the American Hospital Association released a study in late 2016 showing that mergers (combinations) help to increase quality, reduce costs, and expand access to care and services. Together, we will create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system that combines our complementary resources and capabilities to create a stronger system to increase our investment in critical areas to advance quality of care and access of our people and communities across 28 states. The new system will strengthen the Catholic health ministry, and will provide approximately $4.7 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unpaid cost of government programs.