Illinois healthcare regulators on Tuesday unanimously approved a marriage of health systems and a divorce for others.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, which regulates health care projects to prevent duplicating services, approved the merger of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and KishHealth System. The deal creates a six-hospital non-profit network that spans from 70 miles west of the Loop to more than 30 miles north in Lake Forest.
“With this important approval, both organizations will continue to work together to finalize this agreement with the anticipation of KishHealth becoming a member of Northwestern Medicine before the end of this year,” Northwestern spokesman Christopher King said in a statement for both health systems.
Northwestern is a prominent academic medical center, with $3.71 billion in annual revenue. KishHealth is a much smaller DeKalb-based community system, with $221.7 million in annual revenue.
The facilities board also gave the green light to for-profit Community Health Systems, based in Franklin, Tenn., to offload 13 Illinois hospitals or other facilities that will become part of a new company in 2016. The spin-off, Quorum Health, will have more than three dozen hospitals nationwide. Locally, they include Vista Health System in north suburban Waukegan and MetroSouth Medical Center in south suburban Blue Island. Community Health Systems had $18.64 billion in 2014 annual revenue.