Olathe Health Joining KU Health System

Officials from the University of Kansas Health System and Olathe Health announced today that the two will merge, the biggest health-care merger in the Kansas City market in nearly 20 years.

Olathe Health CEO Stan Holm joined KU Health’s CEO Bob Page and Kansas City market president Tammy Peterman for a morning news conference to announce that the two institutions had signed a Letter of Intent to merge. Officials say there will be little immediate change apparent to patients, but the union represents the biggest health-care market shift since HCA acquired Health Midwest’s hospitals and clinics for $1.13 billion in 2003.

It also solidifies KU Health System’s position as the dominant entity in the region; annual admissions of more than 44,600 patients last year were nearly twice those of the region’s second-busiest hospital, Topeka-based Stormont Vail Health. It also adds more than $1.2 billion in annual revenues from Olathe Health to the larger system’s $11.2 billion in 2021.

“We’re proud of what we have achieved as an independent health system over the past 70 years, and we are excited about joining a health system that complements our expertise and brings additional resources to better position our community for a brighter future,” said Holm “As one health system, we will be able to enhance access through even more care options close to home.”

“As the region’s only academic health system and destination for complex care, we are committed to offering patients a seamless health-care experience,” said Page. “This is an exciting day for our health system, and for Kansas City.”

This agreement, approved by the boards of each system, doesn’t make the union a done deal; there will be a period of due diligence, where both organizations will spend time completing the details of a final agreement, KU Health officials said in a release announcing the pact. 

But among the broad brushstrokes of the deal will be significant investments in current Olathe services, facilities, infrastructure and technology; retention of Olathe Health’s 2,300 associates, including the senior leadership team; extension of highly specialized care to the OH service area; support for Olathe Medical Center’s goal to achieve Magnet Designation for nursing excellence; and pursuing enhanced physician and provider recruitment.

More information on the union is available at KansasHealthTogether.com.