One day after Carolinas HealthCare System changed its name to Atrium Health, the health care system signed a letter of intent to merge with Navicent Health.
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The health system said it decided to rebrand so that its name would no longer limit the organization geographically, Modern Healthcare reports. The rebranding process is expected to take two years, with new signage going up at Atrium facilities beginning at the end of 2018. Ads will use the new name starting immediately.
According to the health system, the name Atrium was selected from more than 100 options because the term represents a "place filled with light, diverse thinkers, and the chamber of the heart where every beat begins." Atrium Health President and CEO Gene Woods added that the new name "reflects our organization today and where we are going in the future to make a greater impact for the people we will serve."
While the health system is changing its name, it will retain some elements of the Carolinas HealthCare System brand, including an updated "Tree of Life" icon. "Our Tree of Life is strong and our mission to provide care for all will not change," Woods said. "Atrium Health will allow the organization to grow and impact as many lives as possible and deliver solutions that will help even more communities thrive."
The rebranding is not directly related to the system's proposed merger with UNC Health Care, officials said. According to Modern Healthcare, Atrium and UNC Health last year signed a letter to create a joint venture that would combine the two systems to form a $14 billion health organization with more than 50 hospitals and more than 90,000 employees. The deal still needs review from the North Carolina attorney general, as well as potential review by the Federal Trade Commission and a panel appointed by the University of North Carolina's board of governors.
Atrium officials said that venture was still proceeding, along with discussions on how the combined system would be branded.
Separately, Atrium announced on Thursday that it will merge with Navicent Health. According to Modern Healthcare, the merger would give Atrium a "regional presence" in Georgia, as well as a chance to move into other areas and strengthen its service lines, while Navicent would gain additional capital and a larger patient base.
"As not-for-profits continue to come together to build scale to drive affordability, care quality, and cost savings, we are doubling down on that idea, and shouldn't be limited to inside the state lines," said Woods. "Navicent has a regional hub in Georgia and we can help broaden the community they serve, and possibly create a model for further expansion" (Kacik, Modern Healthcare, 2/7; Ellison, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/7; Kacik, Modern Healthcare, 2/8).
There's more than just M&A. Get the cheat sheet for hospital partnership and affiliation models.
Behind the flurry of M&A in recent years, a deeper trend of hospital integration is underway: the emergence of alternative partnerships that secure many of the same benefits of M&A without the financial and legal commitment: Clinical affiliation, regional collaborative, accountable care organization, and clinically integrated network.
This guide defines these types of partnerships and offers benefits, drawbacks, and examples of organizations in each.
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