The Illinois Hospital Association and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council plan to merge. The hospital advocacy groups concluded that a combined organization would better align the services they offer.
The new organization is expected to offer its members new business and revenue solutions, as well as improved technology, data analytics and information services, officials said.
The IHA represents over 200 hospitals and nearly 50 health systems across the state of Illinois, while the MCHC represents 150 hospitals and healthcare organizations in the greater metropolitan Chicago area.
Members from both organizations wrote to IHA and MCHC leadership last July asking the organizations to explore a strategic partnership. IHA and MCHC solidified plans for a merger in recent weeks and both organizations' chairs signed a letter of intent (PDF) on Tuesday, according to a news release.
The organizations already have significant overlap in membership. All but six MCHC member hospitals have dual membership in the Illinois Hospital Association, according to MCHC spokeswoman Janine Sheedy.
Though the integrated organization will be able to realize some operational efficiencies, finances were not the main reason for the merger, Sheedy said.
“Both organizations have very strong balance sheets,” Sheedy said. “We're just looking at it as, if we come together with our complementary strengths, what benefits can come of that?”