Carle Clinic Association Purchase Seeks to Improve Continuum of Care

John Commins, April 2, 2010

The Carle Foundation in Urbana, IL, has purchased the Carle Clinic Association and its assets, including Health Alliance Medical Plans, for $250 million, the foundation announced.

The sale takes effect immediately because federal and state regulatory approvals have been obtained.

"This is an exciting step for Carle, one that positions us well for providing our communities high quality, high value care for years to come," said James C. Leonard, MD, president/CEO of The Carle Foundation, in a media release. "As a comprehensive health system, we will continue striving to improve health and wellness of people in the region with patient-focused, world-class care rooted in advanced research and technology."

The nonprofit Carle Foundation includes Carle Foundation Physician Services and the 325-bed Carle Foundation Hospital, which admitted more than 19,900 patients and treated more than 56,700 patients in the emergency room in 2009. The acquisition will include Carle Physician Group, which includes more than 300 physicians, and Health Alliance Medical Plans, which has 310,000 members in Illinois and Iowa. The newly integrated system employs about 5,800 people in central Illinois and Iowa.

This is the fourth time the two healthcare entities have considered integration.

"The time is right for this transition. Under this patient-focused, physician-led structure, we will enhance the continuum of care by aligning hospital, clinic, and health plan quality initiatives and improving efficiency by focusing on high standards of care, disease management, and implementing a single electronic medical record," said R. Bruce Wellman, MD, CEO of Carle Physician Group.

"As an integrated delivery system, Carle will be prepared to implement national healthcare policy changes as people will receive care in an accountable care environment where all hospitals, physicians, and health plans will be focused on value-driven and efficient care," he said.

Carle says the acquisition opens a process to fully integrate the healthcare system that will ultimately combine resources to preserve local ownership and control of healthcare services, strengthen community stewardship, provide discounted care to qualifying patients, and create jobs and support for health initiatives that improve healthcare access and quality.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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