Healthcare News of Note: Oracle’s $28.3B acquisition of Cerner is now final
- On June 8, Oracle Corporation closed the deal to acquire Cerner, nearly six months after the Dec. 20 joint announcement about the proposed acquisition through an all-cash tender offer for $95 per share, or $28.3 billion.
- Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health announced plans to merge into a health system that would have a major presence in six states.
- The median annual salary has increased across all license types for nurses when compared to 2020, and the gender pay gap for RNs nearly doubled, according to results of a new survey.
Over the last few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.
1. Oracle finalizes deal to acquire Cerner for $28.3B
On June 8, Oracle Corporation closed the deal to acquire Cerner, nearly six months after the Dec. 20 joint announcement about the proposed acquisition through an all-cash tender offer for $95 per share, or $28.3 billion.
On June 7, Oracle announced that 69.2% of the outstanding shares of Cerner Corporation “were validly tendered, and the other conditions to the tender offer have been satisfied or waived,” and also said “the deal will close on June 8, 2022.”
In a June 1 news release announcing that all required antitrust approvals had been obtained for the acquisition, Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chairman and chief technology officer, said, “Working together, Cerner and Oracle have the capability to transform healthcare delivery by providing medical professionals with a new generation of healthcare information systems. Better information enables better treatment decisions resulting in better patient outcomes. Our new, easy-to-use systems are designed to lower the administrative workload burdening our medical professionals while improving patient privacy and lowering overall healthcare costs.”
In the same release David Feinberg, Cerner’s CEO and president, said, “Cerner has been a leader in helping digitize medical care, and now it’s time to realize the real promise of that work with the care delivery tools that get information to the right caregivers at the right time.
“Joining Oracle … provides an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate our work modernizing electronic health records, improving the caregiver experience, and enabling more connected, high-quality and efficient patient care.”
Mike Sicilia, an executive vice president with Oracle, was also quoted in the release, noting Oracle’s intention to “rapidly modernize Cerner’s systems and move them to our next-generation Cloud.
“This can be done very quickly because Cerner’s largest business and most important clinical system already runs on the Oracle Database. … We will make Cerner’s systems much easier to learn and use by making hands-free voice technology the primary interface to Cerner’s clinical systems.”
2. Proposed merger would create a 67-hospital, $27 billion health system
In a deal that could reshape the not-for-profit hospital landscape across a multistate area, Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health in May announced their intent to combine into one entity.
The organizations issued a news release that stated the merged health system would serve 5.5 million patients and have:
- 148,000 staff
- 7,600 employed physicians
- 18,500 aligned physicians
- 41,000 nurses
- $4.8 billion in community benefit
- 1,000+ ambulatory locations
- 67 hospitals
- $27.1 billion in net revenue
Accompanying the merger agreement is a $2 billion pledge to “disrupt the root causes of health inequities across both rural and urban underserved communities.” The systems also announced commitments to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and create more than 20,000 new jobs across their communities, which will span Illinois and Wisconsin (Advocate Aurora’s current footprint) along with North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama (Atrium Health’s markets).
What comes next
The organizations hope the lack of market overlap will allow the merger to pass regulatory scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. However, the FTC is likely to take a close look at the proposal simply due to the scale of the combined entity.
Assuming the merger is allowed to proceed, the new organization will be known nationally as Advocate Health, with the Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health brands continuing to be used in local markets.
The combined board of directors will have equal representation from the two organizations. Atrium’s chair, Edward J. Brown III, will head up the new board through 2023, with his Advocate Aurora counterpart, Michele Richardson, taking over for an ensuing two-year term.
Jim Skogsbergh, president and CEO of Advocate Aurora, and Eugene A. Woods, president and CEO of Atrium, will be co-CEOs for the first 18 months after the merger. After that, Skogsbergh will retire and Woods will be the sole CEO.
The new organization will be headquartered in Charlotte, site of Atrium Health’s current hub, “while continuing to maintain a strong organizational presence in Chicago and Milwaukee.” The latter city will be the site of a new institute for health equity.
— Nick Hut, HFMA senior editor
3. Nurse salaries have increased across all license types, says new survey
The median annual salary has increased across all license types for nurses when compared with 2020 data, according to a new report by Nurse.com from Relias, along with survey partner Brandware. Some 2,516 qualified nurses completed the online survey between Nov. 12 and Dec. 12, 2021.
Median salaries by license type
The following are median salaries by license type, as reported in the “Nurse Salary Research Report.”
- APRN: $120,000
- RN: $78,000
- LPN/LVN: $48,000
When compared with 2020 survey results, the median salary increased by $5,000 for RNs, $13,000 for APRNs and $3,000 for LPNs/LVNs, according to the report authors.
“Nurse salaries increased across all U.S. regions, as defined by the American Hospital Association, with the exception of Region 3, which covers Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia,” wrote the authors. “RN median salary in Region 3 declined to $68,000, down from $72,000 in our 2020 report.”
Gender pay gap for RNs widens
“The gender pay gap for RNs widened, with the median salary for a male RN $14,000 higher than the median salary for a female RN,” wrote the authors. In 2020, the gap was $7,297.
In the report, Felicia Sadler, MJ, BSN, RN, partner in acute solutions at Relias, noted the median salary is fairly close between women and men with APRN or LPN/LVN certifications. The more substantial gender pay gap for RNs could be due to variables such as clinical settings, higher-acuity specialties with higher differentials in pay, and certifications.
Median primary salaries by gender and license type, according to the report:
- Male RNs earned $90,000, with female RNs at $76,000.
- Female APRNs earned $122,000, with male APRNs at $120,000.
- Female LPN/LVNs earned $48,000, with male counterparts at $45,000.