Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care’s planned merger with Downers Grove, Illinois-based Advocate Health Care has advanced two steps after securing the approval of the Federal Trade Commission and an Illinois regulatory board.
Aurora Health Care and Advocate Health Care, both the largest health systems in their respective states, announced in December their plans to merge, a union that would place it among the 10 largest nonprofit health care systems in the United States.
The combined system, which would operate as Advocate Aurora Health, would have annual revenues of about $11 billion, operate 27 hospitals and employ more than 73,000 people.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the change of ownership of 15 Advocate hospitals, according to letters dated Feb. 5 from board chair Kathy Olson to the health system. The merger still requires approval from Wisconsin regulators.
“We are excited to move one step closer to bringing our two great organizations together to reimagine the possibilities of health for those we serve,” the systems said in a joint emailed statement. “Advancing through the FTC’s review process was a key milestone in addition to securing regulatory approval in Illinois. We look forward to the final step of receiving approval in Wisconsin before our anticipated closing this spring.”
Advocate’s previous attempt at a merger with Evanston, Illinois-based NorthShore University HealthSystem was foiled by a challenge from the FTC.