Meriter Health Services Prepares for Future through Strategic Affiliation

Affiliation with UnityPoint Health will offer new efficiencies and resources for Meriter, Physicians Plus and Dane County patients

MADISON, Wis. (October 10, 2013) Meriter Health Services announced today that it has agreed to combine operations through an affiliation agreement in which it will become an affiliate of UnityPoint Health, a nationally recognized, integrated health system headquartered in West Des Moines, IA. The affiliation will allow Meriter to thrive in America’s changing health care environment, while advancing its commitment to high-quality patient care.

“I’m proud and delighted to announce this affiliation with UnityPoint Health,” said MHS Board Chair Virginia Graves. “It’s the best of both worlds for Meriter and Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation. We will remain a locally-run, community health system, while also gaining the benefits of a broader regional system’s services, experience and expertise.

This is good for our patients, members, employees, the regional health care system and the local economy.”

 “Like Meriter, UnityPoint Health has a culture of patient-focused care, community-minded spirit and high-quality, lower-cost health care,” said Jim Woodward, President, Meriter Health Services.   “In the affiliation, UnityPoint Health will provide resources to MHS, supporting and enhancing the services provided to the community, including taking an ownership interest in Physicians Plus and providing clinical practice and management support to Meriter Medical Group.”

The affiliation is pending state and federal regulatory approvals, which is anticipated later this year.

“With its national reputation for excellence in quality health care, Meriter will be an outstanding addition to the UnityPoint Health family,” said Bill Leaver, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health. “We are a good fit together.  UnityPoint Health is a health system of 15 hospitals in 8 regions.  Meriter is a strong regional organization just like our other 8 regional health systems.  We were fortunate to find in Meriter, an integrated health system that could also offer an HMO to our network. We see Physicians Plus growing in strength and geographic market coverage over time.”

Meriter patients and Physicians Plus members can continue to see their doctors and receive care locally, just as before. “Nothing changes for patients and members,” Leaver said. “Meriter and UnityPoint Health hope to build upon current relationships with local health organizations.”

About Meriter Health Services

Meriter Health Services is a nationally recognized health system comprised of Meriter Medical Group, offering primary and specialty care; Meriter Hospital, a nonprofit 448 bed community hospital; and Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation. Meriter is a 2013 recipient of the National Research Corporations’ coveted Innovative Best Practice award, Top Rated Adult Doctors award and Top Rated Pediatric Doctors award. Meriter provides a comprehensive array of patient-focused inpatient and outpatient services to meet the health needs of Dane County. For more information, visit meriter.com.

About UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health is one of the nation’s most integrated health systems. Its physician-led team of professionals communicates clearly and effectively to address a patient’s health care in the most appropriate setting: whether that is a clinic, a hospital or services provided within the home. Through relationships with more than 280 physician clinics, 30 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities and home care services throughout its 8 regions, UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa and in Central and Western Illinois.

UnityPoint Health entities employ more than 24,000 employees, working toward innovative advancements to deliver the Best Outcome for Every Patient Every Time. Each year, through more than 4 million patient visits, UnityPoint Health, UnityPoint Clinic and UnityPoint at Home provide a full range of coordinated care to patients and families. With annual revenues of $2.7 billion, UnityPoint Health is the nation’s 13th largest nonprofit health system and the fourth largest nondenominational health system in America.  UnityPoint Health provides community benefit programs and services to improve the health of people in its communities.

Contact:

Mike Flaherty
(608) 509-3997

Leah Huibregtse
(608) 516-2256

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