Kaufman Hall Facilitates Merger of Three Leading Palliative Care Providers in Illinois

Three of Illinois’ leading palliative and end-of-life care providers announced on March 31 they have entered into an agreement to merge into one agency which, when fully integrated, will become one of the premier non-profit palliative and end-of-life care providers in the state. Kaufman Hall was jointly engaged by all of the parties to act as the exclusive transaction facilitator for the proposed combination. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Chicago-based Horizon Hospice & Palliative Care, Barrington-based JourneyCare and Glenview-based Midwest CareCenter will operate as a single entity. When combined, the organization will employ more than 800 healthcare professionals and care for thousands of patients annually in Chicago and 10 surrounding counties.

“Each of us shares the same vision, which is to provide exceptional care and compassion to our patients and their loved ones. We are honored to be entrusted with their care at this very intimate time in their lives. This will never change,” said Sarah Bealles, who was selected to become President and CEO of the newly combined agency, moving from her current role as President and CEO of JourneyCare. “However, by joining together we will be able to integrate our strengths while leveraging our combined infrastructure and expertise. This agreement positions us to take a lead in defining how care is delivered in the transforming healthcare market.”

With 40 acute-care hospital affiliations and numerous post-acute partnerships, the new organization will care for approximately 2,500 patients daily. All existing partnerships are expected to remain in place, and all employees will be transitioned into roles within the new agency.

Kaufman Hall’s role as exclusive transaction facilitator commenced with supporting initial discussions between the CEOs of Horizon, JourneyCare and Midwest CareCenter to explore a potential partnership with one another, as well as presenting structuring alternatives, including a fully integrated partnership.   Following the organizations’ decision to move forward with a further evaluation of a potential combination, Kaufman Hall managed every aspect of the transaction process which included the development of the initial strategic and financial rationale for the partnership, establishing partnership goals and objectives, facilitating the negotiation of transaction terms, structuring the letter of intent, organizing the due diligence process and aiding in the development of definitive transaction documentation.  In addition, Kaufman Hall helped develop a mutually acceptable governance structure through additional facilitated discussions with the three organizations’ existing board members.

The combined organization will be led by a newly elected 18-person board, with six members chosen from each provider’s current board. Following the closing, up to four additional independent voting members may also be chosen from outside of the organizations within a year after closing.

“The healthcare industry is not standing still and neither can we,” said Jamie O’Malley, CEO of Midwest CareCenter. “As three of Illinois’ founding palliative and end-of-life care providers, we’re moving forward together to continue to take the lead in finding innovative ways to enhance care for the seriously ill.”

The merger will bring together three highly respected community-based organizations which have more than 100 years of combined experience in the fields of palliative medicine and end-of-life care. The new agency’s name is expected to be announced by late summer.

“Our announcement goes a long way toward increasing access to care for a diverse population of people while increasing efficiencies and improving integration and collaboration with all of our healthcare partners,” said Mary Runge, CEO of Horizon. “We’re proud to be a part of this merger, which truly forms the premier palliative and end-of-life provider in the region.”

Runge and O’Malley will remain in active roles through the transition.

To learn about how Kaufman Hall is facilitating partnerships between healthcare providers, contact Patrick Allen and Kristofer Blohm at 847.441.8780.