Left: Hunter D’Antuono/Flathead Beacon Right: Courtesy Billings Clinic

Billings Clinic and Logan Health announced this week that the two hospital systems have received regulatory permission to merge on Sept 1. The news comes nearly six months after the Billings- and Kalispell-based systems announced they were exploring a consolidation. 

Collectively, the two hospitals employ 9,000 employees, plus an additional 3,000 workers at affiliated organizations in Montana and Wyoming. 

“Billings Clinic and Logan Health have a shared commitment to the people of Montana and Wyoming,” said Billings Clinic CEO Clint Seger, MD. “We are alike in many ways and have a collective vision for what we can do together to close care gaps, recruit and retain talent, develop solutions to meet patient needs and advance our legacies of clinical excellence and serving our communities. We will be focused on connecting the rural communities between us and around us to improve care coordination while striving to keep care as local as possible.”

Seger will serve as chief physician executive and Logan Health President and CEO Craig Lambrecht will serve as chief executive officer. The new combined organization will be governed by a 10-member board, with five members from the current Billings Clinic board and five from the current Logan Health board. 

Logan Health, formerly Kalispell Regional Healthcare, pictured on May 19, 2021. Credit: Hunter D’Antuono/Flathead Beacon

In a press release, the hospitals announced that there will be “minimal changes” to how each organization operates on Day 1. Full integration is expected to take 12 to 24 months. 

In February, the CEOs said they believed a combined system would be able to provide better service to patients and that the organizations could grow to a point where patients wouldn’t need to look elsewhere for specialized treatments. They also said that the combined system would be able to better address one of health care’s biggest current challenges: Building and retaining a workforce sufficient to meet demand. 


Billings, Kalispell hospitals explore potential merger

Officials said they had signed a “non-binding letter of intent” to explore the unification of the two systems. If everything goes according to plan, a definitive agreement would be in hand by this spring and the merger could be approved by the Federal Trade Commission this summer.

“I am confident that an independent, Montana-based health system will have a significant positive impact on our region,” Lambrecht said. “By coming together, our combined organization will continue to be our region’s leader in rural health, addressing health equity and disparities, enhancing access to a broader range of services, and improving health and well-being of our communities. This is a milestone in our region’s history, and we are very excited to enhance the delivery of health care to patients in Montana and Wyoming.”

Billings Clinic is the state’s largest independent health system, with clinics in Montana and Wyoming. It has more than 4,700 employees, including nearly 600 physicians. Logan Health, known until just a few years ago as Kalispell Regional Medical Center, is based in Flathead County and provides service to more than 20 counties through various remote clinics. It’s also closely affiliated with the hospital in Whitefish, which was previously known as North Valley Hospital. Logan Health employs more than 4,500 physicians, nurses, health care professionals and support staff.


Justin Franz is a freelance writer, photographer and editor based in Whitefish. Originally from Maine, he is a graduate of the University of Montana's School of Journalism and worked for the Flathead Beacon for nine years. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Seattle Times and New York Times. Find him at justinfranz.com or follow him on Twitter.