Advocate Health Care to merge with Wisconsin-based Aurora Health Care

Aurora Health Care hopes to have a new name by next year. They want to be called'Advocate Aurora Health

Downers Grove, Ill. -based Advocate Heath Care and Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care announced plans to merge systems which are already the largest in their respective states into a 27-hospital system with around $11 billion in annual revenue. Should the deal receive regulatory approval, the merged system, which would go by the name Advocate Aurora Health, is projected to have a total operating revenue of about $11 billion and employ 70,000 people across hundreds of facilities in IL and Wisconsin, including 27 hospitals. It will have 27 hospitals, over 3,300 physicians and almost 70,000 other employees.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Advocate's failed attempt to merge with NorthShore University Health System cost Advocate $15 million after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) challenged the deal saying that the merger would result in 8% higher prices for consumers at the hospitals and potentially lower quality of care.

5 announced a merger to create Advocate Aurora Health, the 10th largest not-for-profit, integrated health care system in the United States, according to a news release from the systems.

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The two systems have worked together as joint owners and operators of ACL Laboratories for 20 years.

"For the communities in IL and Wisconsin that we serve and for our two organizations, this is an unprecedented opportunity to shape our future and better serve patients", said Nick Turkal, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Aurora. Advocate President and CEO Jim Skogsbergh and Aurora's President and CEO Nick Turkal will serve as co-CEOs of the newly formed system. There would be a single board of directors made up of an equal number of members from Advocate and Aurora. "We are fortunate that our organizations are coming together from unique and complementary positions of strength, particularly at a time of evolving industry dynamics". In 2016, Kaiser Permanente's total operating revenue was $64.6 billion. The two companies say they expect to close the deal by mid-2018. Each system will maintain its current headquarters.

As health systems and hospitals adjust to the push for value-based care, alternative payments and accountable care organizations, systems with less experience and knowledge have to factor in how they will achieve those goals.

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