Dean Health System to Join SSM

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 17, 2013

"Dean and SSM have had a long successful tradition of 100 years of innovating and being one of the few organizations that pursued the value-based model long before the rest of the market moved in that direction," Samitt said.

The two companies already share an integrated delivery network that focuses population health in south central Wisconsin. Dean manages physician practices and SSM leverages geographic breadth and expertise in acute care. SSM and Dean jointly own Dean Health Plan, which covers more than 300,000 lives in the region.

"We thought if we have accomplished as much as we have as a virtually integrated system, imagine what we can do as a vertically integrated one," Samitt said. "We had discussions with SSM. We found that of all the parties we were speaking with, SSM was the best cultural strategic financial and operational fit for our system."

St. Louis-based SSM is one of the nation's largest Catholic health systems with more than 7,000 physicians and 25,800 employees operating in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Illinois and Missouri. Dean's multispecialty system includes more than 500 physicians operating within a network of more than 60 clinics, the Davis Duehr Dean eye care, and Dean Pharmacy.

"By having an integrated system, we have concentrated on better care at a lower cost long before the Affordable Care Act was passed and accountable care came into vogue," Samitt said.

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