The proposed merger expands on a relationship SwedishAmerican has had since 2010 that led to the development of the SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center. SwedishAmerican says it also participates in telestroke and electronic Intensive Care Unit services with UW Health.
“This merger is a logical progression of our successful affiliation of the past four years,” said Dr. Bill Gorski, president and CEO of SwedishAmerican in a news release. “By becoming a valued part of the world-class UW Health system, we are excited about what the future holds, despite these uncertain times. The Rockford region, as well as people throughout northern Illinois, will have greater access to the breakthrough research, advanced medical specialties and community health initiatives that earn UW Health national recognition.”
The move is a growing trend indicative of the changing landscape of health care that began with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, especially for not-for-profit hospitals. Cuts to medicare and medicaid have many seeking larger economies of scale to control costs while also looking for more efficient ways to cope with new regulations under Obamacare. The news release of the merger refers to these changes, saying "the SwedishAmerican Board of Directors decided that it is critical for community healthcare systems to broaden their reach, reduce their costs, coordinate patient care and have increased access to capital and technology."
The merger will require regulatory approval.