The largest health care provider serving Northwest Indiana is looking for an organization to acquire or enter into a joint venture on its two hospitals in Illinois.
Franciscan Alliance made the announcement Wednesday morning, stating it has invested more than $300 million at St. James Health hospitals in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields since 1994.
"Even with those investments and improvements in operational performance, Franciscan St. James has incurred significant operating losses," the hospital said in the release.
A health care adviser has been tapped to guide Franciscan Alliance through the process, and negotiations are expected to begin this year.
The communities those hospitals serve would benefit from them joining a new organization that can "make more capital investments, negotiate sustainable payment rates from commercial insurers and provide a broader network and links to nearby clinical services than Franciscan Alliance," the release states.
Eleven of the system's 13 hospitals are located in Indiana, benefiting from the scalability of a larger system, said Kevin Leahy, President and CEO of Franciscan Alliance.
“Joining a new organization provides an opportunity to ensure the long-term viability of essential services at Franciscan St. James Health for the Chicago Heights, Olympia Fields and surrounding communities,” he said in a statement.
Other Franciscan Alliance hospitals include Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point, Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Michigan City, Franciscan St. Margaret Health in Hammond and Franciscan St. Margaret Health in Dyer.
“Franciscan St. James Health is poised to thrive with an organization that shares our values and can provide capital and a broader local network,” said Seth Warren, President of Franciscan St. James Health and Regional CEO of Franciscan Alliance’s South Suburban Chicago Region. “We are looking for an organization that can bring us those qualities, while safeguarding access to care in the communities we serve in Illinois.”