- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Two influential hospital organizations in Illinois are planning to merge into one entity by the end of the year.

The Illinois Hospital Association and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council announced Wednesday they’ve signed a letter of intent to form a new integrated organization.

The Illinois Hospital Association now advocates for more than 200 hospitals and has offices in Naperville, Springfield and Washington, D.C.

The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council is a membership and service association made up of more than 150 hospitals and health care groups in the Chicago area.

Leaders of the two groups say the new organization will be able to offer members new technology, data analytics and other services.

The boards of the two organizations approved the idea in recent weeks.

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