Aurora and Advocate merger clears final regulatory review

Expected to close April 1

Aurora

Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care’s planned merger with Downers Grove, Illinois-based Advocate Health Care has cleared its final regulatory review and is expected to close April 1.

The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance reviewed the deal Wednesday and the systems announced it received approval today.

Under review was Advocate Aurora Health’s application to acquire Wisconsin Collaborative Insurance Company, an insurance company currently owned by Aurora Health and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The merger cleared review by the Federal Trade Commission and netted approval by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board in February.

“We’re full steam ahead,” said Jim Skogsbergh, president and chief executive officer of Advocate, who will be co-CEO of Advocate Aurora Health. “A team of leaders from both systems have developed a comprehensive integration plan that will allow us to accelerate our efforts on safety, health outcomes, consumer experience and cost while delivering value for the patients, communities and employers who count on us.”

The combined system would have annual revenues of about $11 billion, operate 27 hospitals and employ more than 73,000 people. Advocate Aurora Health plans to maintain dual headquarters in Downers Grove and Milwaukee.

“Our merger represents a tremendous opportunity to elevate the strengths of two great organizations to shape a better future for those we serve,” said Nick Turkal, president and chief executive officer of Aurora, who will be co-CEO of Advocate Aurora Health. “We are excited to move forward on our commitment to leading the change and building a model of health care that is truly transformational.”

Aurora and Advocate recently announced the executive leadership team of their combined system. The system will have a single board of directors with an equal number of members from Advocate and Aurora. Aurora Board Chair Joanne Disch will chair the Advocate Aurora Health Board of Directors during the first two years, and Advocate Board Chair Michele Richardson will assume leadership for the following two years.

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