Healthcare mergers back in fashion

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be on the back burner, mergers are happening again in the healthcare industry space with two major announcements at the beginning of March. But brand confusion continues. 

Genesis and MercyOne on Wednesday, March 1, announced the completion of the merger agreement between the two health systems, and that Genesis has joined MercyOne.

“With today’s closing, all interests and operations of Davenport, Iowa-based Genesis will become part of MercyOne,” according to a statement on the MercyOne website.

MercyOne, headquartered in Clive, Iowa, is a member of Trinity Health, headquartered in Livonia, Michigan. Trinity Health is one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in the country with 88 hospitals across 26 states. Genesis Health System, its affiliates and partners, offer a continuum of healthcare services for a 17-county region of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

One day later, West Des Moines-based UnityPoint Health and New Mexico-based Presbyterian Healthcare Services signed a letter of intent to explore the formation of a new healthcare organization. UnityPoint Health operates a number of hospitals and clinics in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois including UnityPoint Health Trinity Medical Center in Rock Island, Trinity Moline, Trinity Bettendorf and Trinity Muscatine.

To try to be clear, UnityPoint Health Trinity Medical Center and the other facilities mentioned above are not part of Trinity Health, headquartered in Livonia, Michigan. The Genesis/MercyOne press release went out of its way to state that “Trinity Health is not affiliated with any Iowa-based entities currently using the name Trinity” even though UnityPoint Health Trinity Medical Center, based in Rock Island, Illinois, has Trinity Bettendorf and Trinity Muscatine.

Seeking more operational scale is not new in any industry, especially the ultra competitive healthcare industry in the Quad Cities. According to its website, Moline Public and Moline Lutheran hospitals merged in 1988; later joining with Franciscan Hospital in Rock Island, the campuses were called Trinity Medical Center and were governed by the Trinity Regional Health System. 

In 1999, Davenport Medical Center was acquired by Trinity and renamed Trinity Medical Center-North Campus. Also, that year Trinity affiliated with the Iowa Health System, which later became UnityPoint Health. In 2010, Trinity Medical Center acquired Unity Medical Center in Muscatine, later renaming the facility Trinity Muscatine.

With the head-scratching similarities in healthcare provider and system names aside, we’re hopeful that these significant mergers will help keep healthcare in the Quad Cities region accessible and reasonably priced. 

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