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Promising better and more efficient patient care, Baylor Health Care System and Temple-based Scott & White Healthcare said Friday that they plan to merge, creating the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas. 

Combined assets of the new system, named Baylor Scott & White Health, would total nearly $8 billion and include 42 hospitals, 4,000 doctors and 34,000 employees. Annual revenue would be $6.7 billion.

The systems anticipate completing a definitive merger agreement next year.

Baylor is one of the largest health care providers in North Texas with about $4 billion in annual revenue. Scott & White, with a national reputation for quality care and efficiency, is dominant in Central Texas. Its facilities are clustered along the Interstate 35 corridor from Waco to Pflugerville and stretch east to College Station and west to Mason.

“It’s a historic day,” Baylor president and CEO Joel Allison said.  With the Affordable Care Act, declining provider reimbursements and a renewed focus on wellness programs to keep patients out of the hospital, health care is going through a transformation, Allison said.

“We have the opportunity to create that new mode of health care that others will be looking to,” he said, stressing a coordinated and integrated approach.
Coming together

Allison, 64, will become CEO of the merged organization. Robert Pryor, president and CEO of Scott & White, will become president and chief operating officer.

A unified board will have seven trustees from each system. Drayton McLane Jr., chair of the Scott & White board, will become chair of the new organization. Baylor chair Jim Turner will serve as chair-elect.

Medical staffs will remain separate and independent.

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