Trinity Health forms new 5-hospital system

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Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, which includes 93 hospitals in 22 states, has formed a new regional health system called Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic.

The new system will include the following hospitals: St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pa.; St. Francis Healthcare in Wilmington, Del.; Mercy Philadelphia Hospital; Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa.; and Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia. Clinics, medical offices and other facilities associated with the hospitals will also be part of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic.

Trinity said the formation of the new regional health system will streamline operational efficiencies, improve clinical collaboration by physicians, and lead to a more comprehensive outpatient strategy.

Trinity Health chooses Epic for integrated EHR, revenue cycle management

St. Joseph Oakland is part of the Trinity Health system in Pontiac, Michigan. Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>


The Michigan health system, one of the largest in the U.S., says it wants to roll out a single, enterprise platform to deliver “people-centered care.

It’s a big week for Epic implementations in the Upper Midwest. The world-class Mayo Clinic is ready to go live with its newly-minted system on May 5, after more than three years of work. And today comes news that sprawling Trinity Health, based in Livonia, Michigan, has selected Epic to build out its own enterprise-wide electronic health record and revenue cycle management system.

It’s a process the Catholic health system expects will take four years to implement across its 94 hospitals and 109 continuing care locations. The expected cost of the deal was not disclosed.

Trinity officials said the integrated Epic platform will allow the health system to improve experiences for patients and clinicians across the board.

“People deserve customized and convenient healthcare experiences, including simple access to a complete health and billing record,” said Mike Slubowski, president and chief operating officer of Trinity Health.

“At the same time, physicians and clinicians need tools that make it easier to practice medicine,” he said. “We look forward to implementing a single, enterprise solution enabling us to deliver excellent, people-centered care.”

It’s the same appetite for a seamless and enterprise-wide system, across all locations and functionalities, that Mayo Clinic CIO Christopher Ross said was a factor in its choice of Epic back in 2015. That health system had been “steadily working toward a convergence of its practice” for several years, he said at the time, and best-of-breed would no longer suffice for achieving those goals.

At Trinity Health, the plan is to leverage Epic as a fully-integrated system for a single, comprehensive health record for every patient.

Trinity tapped Epic on the strength of the different products offered on that single, unified platform, officials said – not just enterprise EHR and revenue cycle, which will eventually go live at all of its hospitals, ambulatory centers, physician offices and continuing care programs, used by some 100,000 employee – but also online scheduling, e-visits and  online bill pay.

“We are confident a single platform will enable new levels of innovation, consumer focus, clinical and business integration and efficiency to help us build our people-centered health system,” said Slubowski. “It will also help align people, process and technology to create a culture in which people-centered care becomes the standard way we care for the communities we serve.”

Trinity Health in talks to sell New Jersey assets to Virtua Health 3 months after failed merger

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Carbondale, Pa.-based Maxis Health reportedly entered into a nonbinding agreement March 8 to sell Lourdes Health System, a two-hospital system in Camden, N.J., to Virtua Health.

Under the letter of intent agreement, Marlton, N.J.-based Virtua Health will purchase Lourdes Health System’s two hospitals from Maxis Health, an entity of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health.

“The parties hope that they will be able to complete this transaction, which has the potential to achieve great benefits for healthcare in South Jersey. Further review is underway; there is no final agreement,” Lourdes Health System officials said in a news release. “Because we are very early in the due diligence process, the parties have no other information to provide at this time.”

The decision comes roughly three months after Camden-based Cooper University Health Care axed its plans to acquire Lourdes Health System and Trenton, N.J.-based St. Francis Medical Center.


Trinity Health races to sell $889M in bonds ahead of tax changes

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The possibility that Congress could eliminate federal tax breaks for a large portion of the municipal market has hospitals and other debt issuers hurrying to issue tax-free bonds before borrowing costs rise, according to Reuters.

Nonprofit hospitals and health systems issue tax-exempt bonds to finance capital projects. Under House Republicans’ tax plan, interest on newly issued private activity bonds would no longer be tax-exempt. This change would reduce financing options for some healthcare organizations by raising the cost of capital, according to S&P Global Ratings.

“From a credit perspective, higher borrowing rates can lead to budget imbalances, a challenge for all, and a hallmark of struggling credits,” said S&P.

In response to the tax bill passed by the House in November, Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health moved up the sale of about $889 million of new and refunding revenue bonds to this week from January 2018.

“I look at it as kind of a risk mitigation. We were able to accelerate and mitigate any risk of where these proposals may eventually land,” Dina Richard, senior vice president of treasury and chief investment officer of Trinity Health, told Reuters.

The move to eliminate tax exemptions for new private activity bonds is not included in a bill passed by Senate Republicans on Saturday, according to Reuters.