University of Chicago Medicine to acquire interest in AdventHealth

University of Chicago Medicine to acquire interest in AdventHealth

University of Chicago Medicine plans to acquire a piece of hospital system AdventHealth, which has four hospitals in the west suburbs, the system announced Tuesday.

Under the plan, UChicago Medicine would acquire a controlling interest in AdventHealth’s Great Lakes Region, which includes hospitals in Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Hinsdale and La Grange. AdventHealth would continue to own a stake in the region and would manage the hospitals’ daily operations

The deal could close late this year or early next year, pending regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, said a UChicago Medicine spokeswoman Tuesday.

The announcement follows AdventHealth’s split earlier this year from Ascension. The two had a partnership under which they had operated hospitals together as Amita Health for years.

When the split was announced in October 2021, Amita said in a news release that it was breaking up after leaders of Ascension and AdventHealth “determined that going forward separately is in their collective best interest in order to more nimbly meet the changing needs and expectations of consumers in the rapidly evolving health care environment.”

AdventHealth, affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has more than 50 hospitals and hundreds of care sites in nine states. Only its Great Lakes Region is involved in the deal with UChicago Medicine. The Great Lakes Region also includes nearly 50 primary and specialty practice locations and two outpatient centers with multiple specialties.

The new partnership would increase access to services for patients in the west suburbs, leaders of AdventHealth and UChicago Medicine said in a news release. The four AdventHealth hospitals will keep their names but have UChicago Medicine branding added to them.

The combination is the latest in a series of deals, in which Illinois hospitals are joining with others, often to gain economies of scale, reach more patients and adapt to changing technologies. Hospitals often say they hope to improve care and affordability by merging, though such deals also often increase their bargaining power with insurers.

UChicago Medicine, which includes University of Chicago Medical Center, has been growing in recent years. It acquired Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey in 2016. More recently, UChicago Medicine broke ground in August on a 130,000-square-foot medical facility in Crown Point, Indiana.

In February, UChicago Medicine announced plans to build a $633 million, 500,000-square-foot cancer hospital in Hyde Park to address health inequities on the South Side and draw patients from across the region.

The announcement about the deal came the same day that nurses’ union National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United sent out a news release saying that nurses plan to protest Thursday outside of University of Chicago Medical Center. “Short-staffing, RN and other staff vacancies, and lack of educational resources create unsafe patient care conditions,” the union said in the news release.

A UChicago Medicine spokeswoman did not immediately provide comment on the planned protest.

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