Central Illinois-based UnityPoint Health locations could become part of Carle Health

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — An opportunity for Carle Health to expand in Central Illinois is on the horizon as UnityPoint and its affiliated hospitals and clinics explore the possibility of a transfer to Urbana’s Carle Health.

Two non-binding letters of intent have already been signed, according to a joint press release that came out Monday afternoon. The content of those letters have been listed below:

  • First, UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois will explore the integration of its Methodist, Proctor and Pekin hospitals and clinics, Methodist College and other healthcare services into the Carle organization.
  • Second, UnityPoint Health and Carle Health will evaluate system-to-system opportunities for collaboration and efficiency.

In a press release, UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois and Carle Health noted similar values the organizations share. The report also revealed an emphasis on medical education and the use of state-of-the-art electronic patient health records, all of which will ensure a seamless transition of care for patients.

“Our organizations share a deep commitment to improving the health of the people and communities we serve,” said Keith Knepp, MD, regional president and CEO, UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois. “By combining our strengths in care delivery, health insurance, research, and medical education, we are uniquely positioned to improve health in our communities and lower the overall cost of care. We look forward to working together to share expertise, advocate effectively on behalf of those we collectively serve, and help grow and sustain our healthcare workforce in the region.”

The health systems are also exploring opportunities to work together to enhance efficiencies, optimize performance, and reduce costs for the health systems beyond the transfer of UnityPoint – Central Illinois entities to Carle Health.

“We believe bringing services together will mean even better health for our patients and our communities,” said James C. Leonard, MD, president and CEO, Carle Health. “Care is so much more comprehensive when the patient’s care team includes clinical care, social support and insurance coverage. Coming together in Peoria and the surrounding region is an important opportunity to serve patients.”

The proposal would provide lasting benefits to patients and local communities. Those benefits include:

  • Healthcare Delivery: Expanded access to high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services
  • Healthcare Coverage: Greater options for value-based care and contracting for local employers who purchase healthcare
  • Workforce Development: An even stronger healthcare workforce and broader pipeline for new talent through colleges and residency programs
  • Operational Efficiency: Optimization of services to provide high-quality care and improved support to clinicians

As the organizations work towards final agreements, they will evaluate the details of potential integration and partnerships and address any regulatory requirements.

“We’re excited about the possibilities ahead, as these potential collaborations represent a win for all three organizations and the communities we serve,” said Clay Holderman, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health. “We look forward to exploring opportunities to better support clinicians, enhance access to care and lower costs in a way that builds upon our long tradition of innovative partnerships.”

It is expected that the organizations will close the deal in late 2022 or early 2023, should all approvals be received.

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