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Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services and Irvine, Calif.-based St. Joseph Health System have signed a letter of intent to create a new, single organization, the two Catholic systems announced Friday. The systems say they don't share any communities. Comment?
Providence Health & Services saw operating margin gains last year as it treated more patients and reduced its bad debt, particularly in states that expanded their Medicaid programs.The Renton, Wash.-based provider operates in five states, three of which expanded Medicaid eligibility. Its hospitals saw a 26% increase in Medicaid patients overall, and gross revenue from Medicaid increased 47% in Washington and 52% in Oregon.Although the cost of unpaid care for Medicaid beneficiaries rose to $444 million in 2014, up from $404 million the previous year, the system provided less charity care. Comment?
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