UAB Health System Authority to purchase St. Vincent’s for $450 million

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System Authority has announced that it will acquire the Ascension St. Vincent’s Health System’s care sites in Alabama which will affect multiple facilities Shelby County.

During a special called meeting on Tuesday, June 25, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved an agreement for the UAB Health Authority to assume ownership of Ascension St. Vincent’s Health System’s care sites in central Alabama for a price of $450 million.

“This acquisition is an exciting opportunity to combine and optimize the UAB Health System and Ascension St. Vincent’s collective strengths and work together to make us stronger for our patients, our communities and our team,” UAB Health System CEO Dawn Bulagrella said. “We look forward to continuing to operate these facilities with the dedicated professionals who have served their communities so well for many years. We intend to support continued operation of St. Vincent’s community position practices and provide opportunities for St. Vincent’s caregivers and associates to essentially remain in their current positions.”

The acquisition will affect multiple local facilities including primary care locations such as Oak Mountain, Greystone and Ascension St. Vincent’s One Nineteen.

“This transaction will include current Ascension St. Vincent’s services, facilities, caregivers and associates including a robust network of primary care providers serving our region,” Bulgarella said. “This acquisition will sustain patient’s access to the highest quality care in Birmingham and our surrounding communities and give our patients access to a larger care network.”

Although prior commitments prevented him from attending the special called meeting, UAB President Dr. Ray Watts was actively involved in the due diligence process and expressed full support of the proposed acquisition.

Work on the acquisition first began after Ascension St. Vincent’s approached the UAB Health Authority with the proposal in late 2023. The acquisition comes after years of partnership between the two entities following an official alliance launching back in 2020.

“An incredible amount of due diligence has gone into this agreement over many months since ascension approached us in late 2023,” Bulgarella said. “Experts across the UAB Health System and the University of Alabama System Office have extensively studied the transaction and assessed opportunities as well as challenges”

The $450 million acquisition is expected to finalized this fall pending standard regulatory approvals and satisfying closing conditions and approval by the Catholic Church. Normal operations will continue for facilities on both sides while teams collaborate to plan the integration.

“Ascension and UAB share a commitment to working collaboratively to ensure a smooth transition in the short term and that we continue to enhance the overall patient and employee experience in the long term,” Bulgarella said.

According to UAB Medicine, the acquisition will not change patient care at any UAB or St. Vincent’s facility and patients may continue to use familiar processes to make appointments, request prescriptions refills, pay bills and communicate with health care providers.

UAB Health Systems currently plans to continue operating St. Vincent’s facilities with the caregivers and associates that are currently serving the community and patients may keep their appointments with St. Vincent’s doctors.

“This is the right things to do for the people we serve,” Bulgarella said. “We firmly believe this will give healthcare in Alabama a more sustainable future and be a very positive thing for our patients, our communities and for the St. Vincent’s and UAB teams.”