Advocate Aurora and Atrium complete merger

Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health completed their merger, the nonprofit health systems said Friday.

The combined organization has more than $27 billion in revenue, 67 hospitals—40 from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Atrium and 27 from Advocate Aurora, which is jointly headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, and Milwaukee—and nearly 150,000 employees in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin. The transaction is the latest in a series of regional health system mergers.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board signed off on the deal last month after initially denying it in September, when board members voiced concerns about the control of the 10 affected Illinois hospitals. The office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul (D) and the Federal Trade Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The office of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (D) said Friday the state will take no action because there is no “legal basis within the office’s limited statutory authority to attempt to prevent the Atrium-Advocate Aurora transaction.”

While Atrium estimated it will invest $25 to $50 million in the coming years to expand serves in underserved communities in North Carolina, the health system can and should do more, said Stein, adding that he is concerned about the combination’s possible effects on healthcare access.

Advocate Health, the new name of the combined organization, told Stein it will maintain current service levels in critical departments, provide indigent care, ensure no patients are denied care due to an inability to pay and provide care to Medicaid and Medicare recipients without discrimination.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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