UnityPoint Health, Presbyterian Healthcare Services Drop Merger Plans

Oct. 12, 2023
Iowa-based UnityPoint also names Scott Kizer to replace Clay Holderman as CEO

Earlier this year, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health and New Mexico-based Presbyterian Healthcare Services announced their intent to merge, but now the two organizations have announced they will no longer be pursuing the transaction.

It wasn’t clear from company statements why the deal was called off. “Our goal for this partnership was to strengthen local, not-for-profit healthcare in the face of mounting cost pressures across the industry. At Presbyterian, that goal remains unchanged with today’s news,” said Dale Maxwell, CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, in a statement. “We will continue to explore new ways to address these structural shifts in healthcare so we can invest in clinical innovation and our workforce. We will remain focused on building a sustainable path forward to serve New Mexicans for generations to come.”

In the wake of the deal being called off, Clay Holderman has departed his role as president and CEO of UnityPoint. Scott Kizer has been named president and CEO of UnityPoint Health. Prior to that role, he served as chief legal officer for the organization from 2021 to 2023 and before that as senior vice president and chief legal officer at BayCare Health System in Florida.

“We believe this decision allows us to better meet the needs of our patients, team members, communities, and key stakeholders. As we move forward, UnityPoint Health is focused on identifying new, innovative ways to deliver low-cost, high-quality care to those we serve,” said Sally Gray, R.N., UnityPoint Health board chair, in a statement.

The proposed merger between Presbyterian and UnityPoint would have seen both systems preserve their brands. If they had combined, UnityPoint Health and Presbyterian would have impacted the lives of four million patients and members through more than 40 hospital facilities, hundreds of clinics and significant health plan operations. The two organizations collectively have a 40,000-person workforce, including nearly 3,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians working alongside independent clinicians, educational partners and colleges.

UnityPoint had previously considered merging with South Dakota-based Sanford Health in 2019.