Meriter joins Iowa-based UnityPoint Health system - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Meriter joins Iowa-based UnityPoint Health system

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UPDATE (WKOW) --- Meriter Health Services announced at a press conference Thursday they are merging operations in an affiliation agreement with UnityPoint Health.

Meriter says the team effort will help advance their commitment to high-quality patient care and make the hospital stronger.

"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."

Meriter President Jim Woodward said they had to look to the future with changes coming to the health care industry. "Our feeling was that we could very definitely survive over the next several decades but that wasn't good enough for us, we wanted to be in an environment and in a partnership which would allow us to continue to thrive," he says.

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 will continue to have the care they already do and nothing changes for current members.

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MADISON (WKOW) --- Meriter Health Services in Madison plans to join the UnityPoint Health according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

UnityPoint health systems is based in West Des Moines, Iowa and has 15 hospitals and more than 280 clinics across regions of Iowa and Illinois.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Meriter's board voted Wednesday on the deal which includes Physicians Plus.

In the deal, Meriter will continue here in Madison to care for patients, but Physicians Plus will expand to Iowa and Illinois says Meriter CEO, Jim Woodward.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the affiliation will not cause any layoffs.

Meriter is holding a press conference at 11:30 and we will have more information on the partnership here on wkow.com.

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