Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health are combining to create the largest health system in South Carolina and among the 50 largest healthcare systems in the country.
The yet-named new health system will have 13 hospitals and hundreds of physician practices and ambulatory centers. It will generate $3.9 billion in annual net revenue, the majority of which will be reinvested, according to a joint released statement from Greenville and Palmetto.
Nearly half of South Carolinians will be within 15 minutes of the new health company's physician practices, hospitals and other health care facilities.
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The scale gives the company the potential to invest up to an additional $1 billion over the next five years in programs, technology, facilities and team members.
This additional investment will help improve the health of residents in the Midlands and Upstate in South Carolina, Greenville and Palmetto said.
The new health company will also have the scale, scope and resources to address serious health issues such as chronic diseases. South Carolina has some of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular and pulmonary disease in the country.
Labor costs and other expenses continue to rise at a faster rate than patients' ability to pay, Greenville and Palmetto said.
The CEOs of Greenville and Palmetto, Michael C. Riordan and Charles D. Beaman Jr., respectively, will continue to serve as co-CEOs of the new not-for-profit company and share leadership responsibilities.
"Both organizations are committed to ensuring our community members receive the health care they need, regardless of their ability to pay," Beaman said.
Riordan said, "Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health are joining together from individual positions of strength. We have a long history of successful collaboration, as well as a strong cultural fit and mutual commitment to make South Carolina healthier. Together we will continue to ensure our community members, including those in rural areas, have access to high-quality, locally based care."
The decision to combine follows months of discussions and analysis by both organizations.
As they seeki the necessary third-party approvals, Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health will continue to offer care and services as two separate, independent organizations.
Combined, the health systems will provide nearly one-third of the state's Medicaid services.
It will be among the largest private employers in the state with more than 28,000 team members and 2,800 physicians.
It also will continue to be a not-for-profit, mission-driven organization, the health systems said.