General Health System and Ochsner Health Merger

Last week, top executives from Ochsner Health System and the Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees met to announce the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) cementing the health systems’ recently formed strategic partnership.

The partnership is not a merger or acquisition. Rather, it creates a joint operations structure, providing an opportunity to deliver care through a combined integrated system that includes joint governance, management and financial integration, according to both parties.

"We've been looking for organizations that are like-minded with similar cultures," Ochsner president and CEO Warner Thomas said in an interview. "General Health System offers higher quality outcomes at an affordable cost, which is aligned with our way of thinking."

Once finalized, the partnership will involve a wide range of patient care and wellness services, including:

  • Comprehensive inpatient and outpatient hospital care

  • Primary care and specialty medicine physician practices

  • A freestanding emergency department

  • Urgent care clinics

  • Home health

  • Skilled nursing and post-acute services

  • Behavioral wellness

  • Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation

  • Outpatient imaging

  • Comprehensive burn care

  • Infusion and radiation therapy services

This move brings together two of Louisiana's largest health care providers covering all hospitals and clinics for improved health outcomes in the Greater Baton Rouge area, while both providers retain their individual brands.

"Combining our unparalleled track record with Ochsner's nationally recognized reputation creates the most comprehensive system in the greater Baton Rouge region." said Mark Slyter, GHS/Baton Rouge General President and CEO.

Signaled by the signing of the Letter of Intent (LOI), this partnership will create Baton Rouge’s highest quality, most cost effective, financially integrated healthcare delivery system focused on delivering high quality patient experiences with more service and program options, and better access to care at a wider range of destinations.  A binding agreement will take several months to finalize and, if successful, would be the latest in a string of partnerships Ochsner has formed totaling three local hospitals and 31 clinics.