ST. LOUIS – St. Louis-based BJC Healthcare and Kansas City-based Saint Luke’s Health System are planning to merge and form an integrated Missouri-based health system.

The two healthcare entities signed a non-binding letter of intent with hopes to expand health care access in Missouri and reach more than six million patients.

According to a news release, BJC and Saint Luke’s will form a patient-centric integrated healthcare system to offer advanced, emerging, and innovative models of care. The hope is to improve access, affordability, and quality of care offered to patients.

“Together with Saint Luke’s, we have an exciting opportunity to reinforce our commitment to providing extraordinary care to Missourians and our neighboring communities,” said BJC HealthCare President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Liekweg.

“Amid the rapidly changing health care landscape, this is the right time to build on our established relationship with Saint Luke’s. With an even stronger financial foundation, we will further invest in our teams, advance the use of technologies and data to support our providers and caregivers, and improve the health of our communities.

“These are opportunities that we can better achieve together. I am confident that BJC and Saint Luke’s together will be even better positioned to extend our legacy of clinical discovery and deliver medical breakthroughs well into the future.”

“Both Saint Luke’s and BJC have well-established reputations for delivering exceptional care and elevating the health of the people we serve,” said Dr. Melinda Estes, Saint Luke’s Health System President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Our integrated health system, with complementary expertise and team of world-class physicians and caregivers, will set a new national standard for medical education and research. Through our decade-long relationship as a member of the BJC Collaborative, we’ve established mutual trust and respect, so the opportunity to come together as a single integrated system that can accelerate innovation to better serve patients is a logical next step. Together, we will advance our shared mission to continue improving the health of our patients.”

With around $10 billion in revenue, both organizations are working toward reaching a definitive merger agreement in the upcoming months. For more information on BJC, click here. For more information on St. Luke’s, click here.