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Atrium Health, Advocate Aurora to combine into $27 billion healthcare system

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 12, 2022
Business Affairs
Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora will combine into a $27 billion healthcare system.
Advocate Aurora Health will merge with Atrium Health into a $27 billion enterprise.

Together, the two will serve 5.5 million patients at more than 1,000 care sites and 67 hospitals across Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. It will continue to use the Atrium name locally.

Rather than a merger, the two are calling it a “strategic combination” that will double the size of Atrium Health and create the fifth-largest healthcare system in the U.S., reports the Charlotte Business Journal.

They intend for it to facilitate equal access, affordable care, environmental stability and clinical efficacy and safety. “This strategic combination will enable us to deepen our commitments to health equity, create more jobs and opportunities for our teammates and communities, launch new, game-changing innovations and so much more,” said Eugene Woods, president and chief executive officer of Atrium Health, in a statement.

The combined company is looking to bolster clinical preeminence and safety, health equity, affordability, next-generation workforce, learning and discovery and environmental sustainability. It will use both organizations’ expertise in medical research, population health, data analytics and digital consumer infrastructure. The two have already pledged $2 billion to eliminate the root causes for health inequities across rural and underserved urban communities.

Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health are committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and have pledged to create more than 20,000 new job opportunities across the communities they serve. These jobs could range from clinical providers to support services. Once they're combined, the unified healthcare system will employ more than 7,600 physicians and nearly 150,000 teammates.

Additionally, the new system will provide $5 billion in annual community benefits to assist vulnerable populations. Atrium is the largest charity care provider in North Carolina. It covered $437 million in medical bills for more than 100,000 patients last year and provided $150 million in discounts to 160,000 uninsured patients. Advocate Aurora provided $2.5 billion in charitable care and services in 2020.

Atrium Health has over 70,000 employees working at 40 hospitals, six free-standing emergency departments, over 30 urgent care centers and more than 1,400 care locations. In 2019, Atrium combined with Winston-Salem’s Wake Forest Baptist Health. This included Wake Forest School of Medicine and established the first four-year medical school in Charlotte.

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