Gundersen Health System and Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic Health System have started discussions to potentially merge into one integrated system, the providers said Tuesday.
The Wisconsin-based health systems signed a memorandum of understanding and called the potential marriage a "unique opportunity."
"We realize the success of our journey to provide high-quality, outstanding experience, and affordable care to enrich lives and enhance the health of the communities we serve relies on working with many partners in a variety of ways," said Dr. Scott Rathgaber, Gundersen's CEO, in a statement. "This opportunity to unite promises the potential to magnify our impact and bring our care model to even more communities by leveraging the strengths of two mission-driven systems."
La Crosse, Wis.-based Gundersen and Marshfield have 13 hospitals and more than 100 clinics in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, and more than 19,000 employees.
Gundersen in 2018 reported net revenue of $1.3 billion, while in Marshfield's latest fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, it reported net revenue of $2.4 billion.
"The disruption in the industry and competitive nature of healthcare has made it vital we construct a dynamic and strong integrated health system," Marshfield CEO Dr. Susan Turney said in a statement. "This merger would give us an opportunity to combine the unique strengths of our systems."