Mississippi Baptist Health Systems (MBHS) in Jackson and Baptist Memorial Health Care (BMHC) in Memphis announced on May 1 the completion of a merger between the two regional health care giants, making the new operation one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the United States.
Mississippi Baptist Health Systems in Jackson and Baptist Memorial Health Care in Memphis announced on May 1 the completion of a merger between the two regional health care giants. Both systems are Christian-based. BMHC is mutually owned by the state Baptist conventions of Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. MBHS is solely owned by the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
“Everyone in the communities we serve will benefit from our alignment with an organization that shares our commitment to both Christian values and quality health care,” said Chris Anderson, MBHS president and chief operating officer.
“Importantly, our ability to be competitive in a health care environment that is increasingly complex, competitive and challenging will be significantly enhanced,” he said. “Now, as part of Baptist Memorial – with shared knowledge, access to Baptist OneCare, and the many additional resources available – we will become even stronger and better equipped to provide high quality services for many years to come.”
According to its website, Baptist OneCare is a fully integrated electronic health record powered by Epic Systems that digitizes patient files; gives patients access to their records anywhere, anytime; refills prescriptions; makes doctor’s appointments from any computer or mobile device; and provides remote consults with doctors’ offices.
For providers, the website states, Baptist OneCare is a “seamless continuum of care” for treatment, imaging, lab work and referral services.
Jason Little, BMHC president and CEO, said at a May 1 press conference the last step toward the merger’s completion, a “shared mission agreement,” was completed in late April and allowed the merger to close.
Both systems are Christian-based. BMHC is mutually owned by the state Baptist conventions of Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. MBHS is solely owned by the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
Anderson pointed out at the press conference there is no geographic overlap in the service areas of the two operations, and there are presently no plans for job layoffs. Little added that MBHS employees will “stay in their roles.“
As a result of the merger, BMHC will become the largest health care provider in the Mid-South and the largest health care system in Mississippi. The merged system will be the fourth largest employer in Mississippi and serve every county in the state.
The systems began discussing the possibility of a merger in September 2016. Since then, the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. has approved the merger.
“This merger will have a significant impact on health care and our communities,” Little said. “By combining our resources, we can invest more heavily in our team members, facilities and equipment, which will result in greater access to new technologies, best practices and medical specialists.
“Ultimately, this merger is about elevating and expanding the care we provide to our communities in Mississippi and beyond.”
Jim Futral, executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board in Jackson, said, “For more than a century both BMHC in Memphis and MBHS in Jackson have been leaders in being an extension of the healing ministry of Christ. Both of these outstanding hospitals have been a part of the Mississippi Baptist Convention and have served people all across our state.
“The union of the two will serve to help provide an even better health care system for people across Mississippi,” he said. “More than just a corporate merger, it is a partnership of like faith and vision to serve the communities in the name of Christ.
“In a day when so many aspects of health care seem to be in crisis, this step could make the Baptist name in health care not only bigger but better.”
MBHS was started in Jackson in 1911 and was the city’s first hospital. BMHC was started in 1912 with one hospital in downtown Memphis.
MBHS is the parent company of Baptist Medical Centers in Jackson, Kosciusko, Carthage and Yazoo City, along with a number of related health care services and programs throughout central Mississippi.
MBHS treats patients from all 82 Mississippi counties and all 50 states. Its medical staff includes approximately 600 board-certified physicians representing more than 50 medical specialties and more than 3,700 health care professionals. MBHS will manage 21,500 admissions, 194,000 clinic visits, and more than 100,000 emergency department visits this year.
BMHC comprises 17 affiliated hospitals in west Tennessee, north Mississippi and east Arkansas; more than 4,000 affiliated physicians; Baptist Medical Group, a multispecialty physician group with more than 500 providers; home, hospice and psychiatric care; minor medical centers and clinics; a network of surgery, rehabilitation and other outpatient centers; and an education system highlighted by the Baptist College of Health Sciences in Memphis.
BMHC is scheduled to open a new $300 million hospital in Oxford later this year.
For more information, visit baptistgrowth.org.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – William H. Perkins Jr. is editor of The Baptist Record, newsjournal of the Mississippi Baptist Convention.)