- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - Two Illinois health systems are starting discussions that could lead to Centegra joining Northwestern Medicine.

Northwestern and Centegra released a joint statement Tuesday announcing they’ve signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore an affiliation. Any arrangement that emerges would be subject to corporate and regulatory approvals.

A deal would be the latest in a series of consolidations affecting both hospital systems and insurance plans. The Federal Trade Commission is blocking a proposed merger of Advocate Health Care Network and NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Centegra Health System operates hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock and plans to open a hospital in Huntley this summer.

Northwestern includes seven hospitals, including its flagship in Chicago. Northwestern CEO Dean M. Harrison says the two systems share a commitment to “high-quality, compassionate care.”

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