BILLINGS (KPAX) - Logan Health and Billings Clinic, two not-for-profit Montana-based health systems, announced Wednesday they have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore uniting the two organizations into one integrated, independent, Montana-based health system.

The goal of the combined healthcare providers will be to enhance access, service, and quality healthcare in the region, the organizations said in a press release.

Billings Clinic and Logan Health "share a commitment to providing high-quality primary and complex care to patients across the rural frontier of Montana and northern Wyoming," the press release states.

“Our two organizations have a lot in common, as independent, physician-led health systems with deep roots in our communities and a commitment to rural health care. The health needs of our rural communities are unique, and we are excited to explore ways to serve our patients’ greatest challenges and raise the bar for health care in Montana and Wyoming together,” said Billings Clinic CEO Clint Seger, MD.

The press release states that health systems across the country are facing unprecedented post-pandemic challenges, including increased expenses, workforce challenges, accelerating technology investment needs, and the urgent need to achieve health equity.

By joining, "the two geographically complementary organizations can be stronger together and better positioned to adapt to the rapidly changing health care environment, sustain and grow services, and meet the needs of local families," the press release states.

A new, combined health system will provide the capacity to work together to integrate clinically and magnify opportunities to serve their communities, with a focus on:

  • Improving safety, quality and service
  • Expanding the depth and breadth of primary and specialty care provided locally
  • Providing an inter-connected rural trauma and emergency transport program
  • Engaging in a more effective and impactful approach for addressing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; population health; health equity and health disparities, including underserved populations and our tribal partners
  • Gaining operational efficiencies to reinvest in advancing care and services for the communities we serve
  • Enhancing recruitment and retention of excellent physicians, nurses, clinicians and other key staff
  • Growing medical education, research opportunities and innovation
  • “Billings Clinic and Logan Health have a long history of serving our communities’ health needs. We are thrilled about our shared vision to create something transformative. We are looking forward to having conversations with our teams and communities as we focus efforts on delivering outstanding care for years to come,” said Craig Lambrecht, MD, Logan Health President and CEO.

A definitive agreement for the new organization is expected this spring with a goal to have all details and approvals finalized as early as this summer, according to the press release.

Logan Health, formerly Kalispell Regional Medical Center, is a not-for-profit, 622-bed health system in Montana. Billings Clinic is Montana’s largest independent health system.