The would-be merger between Gundersen Health System and Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic Health System is a no-go.
Seven months after the two Wisconsin-based systems announced they were exploring a potential merger, they announced Thursday they have decided to stay independent after all.
In a joint statement, the systems said the decision came after months of "productive, collaborative discussions" about how to enhance care across Wisconsin, northeast Iowa and southeastern Minnesota.
"This was an opportunity we had to explore," Gundersen CEO Dr. Scott Rathgaber, said in a statement. "Yet, we have to make the right decision for our patients and for our organizations. We each still have a commitment to delivering the best care possible to those we serve."
The systems said they will continue to focus on improving access in rural areas through telehealth services, enhanced critical-access hospitals and clinics and recruiting and retaining clinicians to practice in rural areas.
Marshfield CEO Dr. Susan Turney said in a statement that bringing two entities of their size and scope together is incredibly complex.
"While we mutually decided to remain independent, we will continue to execute our strategy of smart growth as we look for opportunities to ensure residents across rural Wisconsin have access to excellent healthcare close to home," she said.
La Crosse, Wis.-based Gundersen reported $1.3 billion in operating revenue in 2018. Marshfield reported revenue of $2.4 billion in its fiscal 2018.