Advocate, NorthShore Merger Will Create Illinois' Largest Healthcare System

A newly announced merger between Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem will create Illinois' largest integrated healthcare delivery system, serving 3 million patients annually.

A newly announced merger between Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem will create Illinois’ largest integrated healthcare delivery system, serving 3 million patients annually.

Both Boards of Directors voted to sign the affiliation agreement that would produce Advocate NorthShore Health Partners (ANHP), a health system focused on a patient-centered, fully integrated population health delivery model.

“This agreement brings together the best of our 2 health systems: quality, safety and clinical integration supported by translational research and technology advancements,” Mark Neaman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of NorthShore, said in a statement. “Advocate leads the way in their proven approach to population health. By joining together, we will raise the bar regionally and nationally for a new model of healthcare delivery.”

Steven Crown, the board chair for NorthShore, pointed to the 2 providers’ similar long-term strategies improving efficiencies, advancing quality, and reducing costs, and said that by working together, they can be leaders in the changing healthcare marketplace.

The new ANHP will consolidate balance sheets and have a single Board of Directors — made up of an equal number of Advocate and NorthShore members — as well as a unified mission, vision, and strategy. Neaman and Jim Skogsbergh, the president and CEO of Advocate, will serve as co-CEOs for a designated timeframe.

Despite the merger and the creation of ANHP, the Advocate and NorthShore names will continue to be used because both organizations already have a rich history within their respective communities, according to Skogsbergh.

“Combined we will create economies of scale that will allow us to reduce the trend of rising healthcare costs,” Michele Richardson, Advocate board chair, said in a statement. “Both organizations have a long-standing commitment to quality, and together we will continue to advance innovation and outcomes.”

The merger’s closing is expected in early 2015, although the agreement is subject to multiple regulatory approvals as well as a review of the optimal debt structure.