Exploring Health Care Merger
Billings Clinic and Logan Health, based in Kalispell, have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore uniting the two non-profit organizations into one integrated, independent, Montana-based health system.
A press release states, “Health systems across the country are facing unprecedented post-pandemic challenges, including increased expenses, workforce challenges, accelerating technology investment needs, and the urgent need to achieve health equity. By joining, the two geographically complementary organizations can be stronger together and better positioned to adapt to the rapidly changing health care environment, sustain and grow services, and meet the needs of local families.”
An agreement for the new organization is expected this spring with a goal to have all details and approvals finalized this summer.
The merger helps address the state of the industry across the country, which is facing unprecedented post-pandemic challenges, including increased expenses, workforce challenges, accelerating technology investment needs, and the urgent need to achieve health equity. The press release explained that “By joining, the two geographically complementary organizations can be stronger together and better positioned to adapt to the rapidly changing health care environment, sustain and grow services, and meet the needs of local families.”
Clint Seger, MD Billings Clinic CEO said that Billings Clinic and Logan Health share a commitment to providing high quality primary and complex care to patients across the rural frontier of Montana and northern Wyoming.
He said, “Our two organizations have a lot in common, as independent, physician-led health systems with deep roots in our communities and a commitment to rural health care. The health needs of our rural communities are unique, and we are excited to explore ways to serve our patients’ greatest challenges and raise the bar for health care in Montana and Wyoming together.”
Some aspects of the pending merger have yet to be determined but the two hospitals would be equal partners. There is no decision yet regarding what the combined organizations would be called nor where headquarters might be.
US Rep. Matt Rosendale commented on the news, “The combined health system that Billings Clinic and Logan Health will explore creating has the potential to address challenges facing health care providers and patients in rural Montana. Improving access to quality health care is critical for the well-being of our families and the success of our rural communities. While I am pleased to see that this merger aims to address this issue, we must also ensure that patient care is not compromised, prices do not increase, and the needs of rural residents are met.”
“Billings Clinic and Logan Health have a long history of serving our communities’ health needs. We are thrilled about our shared vision to create something transformative. We are looking forward to having conversations with our teams and communities as we focus efforts on delivering outstanding care for years to come,” said Craig Lambrecht, MD, Logan Health President and CEO.
Logan Health, founded in 1910, is a not-for-profit, 622-bed health system in Montana. While the main medical campus is located in Flathead County, Logan Health draws from a total service area covering 20 counties. The health system consists of six hospitals, more than 68 provider clinics and a host of other health care services, including the nation’s first rural air ambulance service (A.L.E.R.T.), which it has maintained for more than 40 years. Logan Health has more than 4,500 physicians, nurses, health care professionals and support staff.
Billings Clinic is Montana’s largest independent health system. A not-for-profit organization, Billings Clinic is governed by a board of community members, nurses and physicians. At its core, Billings Clinic is a physician-led, integrated multispecialty group practice with a Level II trauma center. It is affiliated with 18 hospitals and clinics in communities across Montana and Wyoming, along with four regional branch clinics. Billings Clinic is the largest trauma center and the first established and longest standing continually accredited trauma center in the state of Montana, and the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in Montana and Wyoming. Billings Clinic has more than 4,700 employees, including nearly 600 physicians and advanced practitioners offering more than 80 specialties. Billings Clinic is the first Magnet-designated health care organization for nursing in Montana.