Frequently Asked Questions

What is CHS?

Based in Tennessee, CHS is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded hospital companies. Rockwood Health System is one of their affiliated entities.

What is Rockwood Health System?

Rockwood Health System is a for-profit health system consisting of Deaconess Hospital (388-bed facility), Valley Hospital (123-bed facility) and Rockwood Clinic, a multispecialty clinic with dozens of ambulatory clinics and sites in eastern Washington and western Idaho. These organizations are well-regarded and financially sound, with a long history of serving their communities.

Rockwood Health System is a for-profit system. Will MultiCare change its status?

MultiCare will remain a not-for-profit organization. Following the acquisition, Rockwood Health System will become not-for-profit.

What is the timing for this?

The purchase agreement has been signed. Now we are in a period of regulatory review and other work that will last for a few months. We anticipate the final closing to occur in the spring of 2017.

Why is MultiCare interested in purchasing Rockwood Health System?

Our mission is partnering for healing and a healthy future; our vision calls us to be the highest value system of health in the Pacific Northwest. We define the Pacific Northwest as Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and western Montana. Acquiring Rockwood Health System, a well-established health system in the Spokane community, is a major step forward in achieving our mission and vision, allowing us to serve even more people and communities.

When this acquisition is complete, MultiCare will be the largest community-based, locally governed health care system in the state of Washington. This growth — along with the organic growth that we have had in the South Sound with the addition of new programs and services over the past few years — will position us to contribute to a healthy future for our patients, employees, providers, partners and the communities we serve.

How will this purchase affect MultiCare’s focus on the Puget Sound region?

We will always be focused on our communities in western Washington. For example, here in the Puget Sound region, we have several new services and facilities in the pipeline: more Indigo Urgent Care Clinics, a new hospital in Covington, the new Emergency Department at Auburn Medical Center, new inpatient and rehabilitation capacity at Good Samaritan and a new inpatient psychiatric hospital in Tacoma, to name just a few.

We are also still actively seeking to hire primary care providers and specialists to expand access to care in these communities. MultiCare has been here since 1882 and we remain fully committed to serving our western Washington communities and to supporting our valued employees and providers here in the Puget Sound Region. At the same time, we will build our network of care delivery with other like-minded organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

Does MultiCare have other plans to expand?

Yes. We are always looking for innovative, collaborative ways to partner to meet the needs of people and communities across the Pacific Northwest. For example, we are in the process of acquiring Immediate Clinic, which will grow our urgent care sites in the Puget Sound region significantly and make us the single largest provider of urgent care services in this area. We will pursue opportunities to expand where and when it makes sense to do so. "Expansion" can mean a variety of things, from mergers and acquisitions to clinical affiliations and other partnerships that do not involve ownership changes.

What is the cost of this purchase?

The cost is approximately $425 million. This amount was approved by our Board as a prudent investment. By way of context, this amount is slightly less than what we invested when we built the Dally Tower at Good Samaritan Hospital.

How will this purchase affect MultiCare’s financial health?

MultiCare will remain a strong, financially viable organization. Rockwood Health System already performs well in the competitive Spokane market. These hospitals and clinics are valuable assets in the Spokane community. Together, we expect to serve even more people in the area with high-quality care and expanded access to services.

At a time when MultiCare is focused on containing costs, why are we investing in expansion across the state?

To run a business well, it is essential to balance growth with the resource needs of our current organization’s operations.

The health care world in which we work is significantly and rapidly changing from fee-for-service to a value-based environment. To stay relevant and influential, so that we can continue to serve the communities we have for the past 134 years, MultiCare must be able to compete for expanded market share with such large organizations as Kaiser Permanente, Providence Health & Services, CHI Franciscan Health and others. These organizations have recently announced significant changes themselves.

At the same time, we will continue to invest in the South Sound region. Our MultiCare Health System Board of Directors recently approved 2017 capital expenditures, consistent with amounts from previous years. As always, we will remain good stewards of these and all our financial resources so we can ensure our care is affordable. That work will always be a priority and is never "done."