- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Advocate Health Care, one of the biggest health systems in the nation, announced plans Friday to merge with NorthShore University HealthSystem.

The combination, to be called Advocate NorthShore Health Partners, will have 16 hospitals, 4,438 beds and 45,000 employees, the Chicago Sun-Times reported (http://bit.ly/1qMaS32 ). The financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Advocate had 2013 revenue of $4.9 billion and NorthShore had $1.8 billion, the newspaper said.

Advocate Chief Executive Jim Skogsbergh said the consolidation will give the group the kind of scale it needs to keep improving health care and safety while reducing costs. Mark Neaman, chief executive of NorthShore, said the deal allows the group to “really respond to what’s going on in the external market,” and cited the federal Affordable Care Act in specific.

The two men will serve as co-CEOs of the new group for two years. The deal calls for Neaman to then retire and for Skogsbergh to be sole chief executive. The merger could be complete by early next year.

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Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/index

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