In late 2017, Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension considered merging. The two faith-based powerhouses eventually abandoned those talks, saying the timing wasn't right. It was a year into the merger of Providence Health and Services and St. Joseph Health. Providence St. Joseph CEO Dr. Rod Hochman said his new system and Ascension had significant and separate goals in 2018. No stranger to consolidation, Hochman in 2012 oversaw the union of Providence and a secular organization, Swedish Health Services. While acknowledging that every deal is different, Hochman says research is key to the sometimes scary move to combine organizations.
what was your riskiest decision? Merging two organizations with different cultures. One's faith-based, one's not. One's based in Seattle and one's up and down the West Coast. What they had in common was that they really were committed to their communities and population health.
Why was that move risky? It took a lot of work to get both sides to understand each other, but ultimately, seven or eight years later, it's been very, very successful.