Answers to Your Questions
While there is much to be determined in the coming months as we transition, we are aligned on the vision and the strategy to achieve it. Throughout the process, we want to be as open and transparent about this exciting partnership as possible. In that spirit we’d like to proactively answer some of your anticipated questions. If you have a question that is not on this list, please submit it through the Contact Us form. We’ll continue to update this page as more frequently asked questions become apparent.
CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason, along with CommonSpirit Health, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore combining the two health systems through a formation of a Joint Operating Company. This new combined integrated health care system would bring together the best performing elements from each organization to build a transformative health system for the communities we serve and beyond.
CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason have been strategically and clinically affiliated since 2017. These partnerships have elevated both access and continuity of care for patients and through this collaboration it has become clear that there is much more we can do together. We’ve admired each other’s desire to lead in improving the way health care is delivered, and we’ve recognized an incredible opportunity to build the health care system of the future, accelerating our ability to increase access to high quality care for more patients. This new combined health care system would bring together the strengths of each organization to build a transformative health system with the highest quality outcomes in the region, while serving as a model of care delivery innovation nationally through CHI Franciscan’s relationship with CommonSpirit Health, one of the nation’s largest non-profit health system.
We are excited to explore this new chapter of service together. The organizations have been engaged in evaluation and planning and hope to finalize that process by the end of 2020.
At this time, the names of CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason facilities would remain the same. It is too early to know what the new health system would be named. The combined organization would work to identify a name that recognizes and honors the historic brands of each organization.
As a result of this new chapter in our partnership, we would expand care options, access points, and continuity of care for patients across the Puget Sound region, the surrounding five-state region and beyond, and transform health care through a better patient experience, more accessible care and better value.
All patients will continue to have access to their same site of care and can continue to use their current insurance plans. Each organization will share updates with patients well in advance of any changes taking place.
Yes. At this time, there are no changes affecting patient care as a result of this announcement and patients may access facilities as usual.
Yes. At this time, nothing is changing for patients. If there is ever any change in the types of insurance the system or providers accept, we will inform you well before any changes take place.
Our organizations chose to explore combining because of our strong partnership illustrated by our alignment in cultures and missions. CHI Franciscan’s mission to serve and care for all people, especially those who are vulnerable, and Virginia Mason’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve signify that both organizations are fully committed to our patients and communities. Each organization already focuses heavily on demonstrating excellence in quality, safety, the customer experience and as a result, excels in national performance measures. Combined, the new organization would have the highest quality outcomes in the region, the capital to invest in customer-centric innovation, and patients will have access to the best minds and science in health care.
Nothing would change when it comes to our commitment to support the communities we serve. CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason are both actively involved and deeply rooted in the communities in which we operate, and a new combined health system would allow for an expansion of these benefits and solutions created to address access disparities, inequities, and health-minded outcomes.
Virginia Mason would continue to operate as a non-Catholic health system. CHI Franciscan would continue to operate as a Catholic health system. Virginia Mason would ensure it does not cause CHI Franciscan to come out of compliance with the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs).
Virginia Mason would ensure it does not cause CHI Franciscan to come out of compliance with the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs), and a very small number of services related to reproductive health and physician-assisted deaths would no longer be provided at Virginia Mason.
We will keep you updated as we continue this process. Please continue to check this website for the latest updates.
Should we move forward to establish a joint operating company, Virginia Mason would continue to adhere to each patient’s wish as expressed in their advance directive. Additionally, we will continue to follow patient instructions regarding any Do-Not-Resuscitate orders.
Our partnership would affect a very small percentage of care provided at Virginia Mason. While some services related to physician-assisted death would no longer be provided at Virginia Mason, all other palliative care services will continue to be provided across the health system.
Virginia Mason’s existing care offerings would not change for LGBTQ patients as all services currently provided at Virginia Mason are also currently provided at CHI Franciscan.
Our organizations are committed to providing excellent and compassionate care to women, children and all patients who need services. Analysis by the Healthcare Research Group comparing access to reproductive and end-of-life services among both secular and religious health care organizations in Washington state, concluded that communities predominately served by religious hospitals do not appear to be experiencing barriers to care.
Additional details, including specific changes to care, are being determined as we work toward a final agreement and would be communicated should we reach a final agreement.