Dean, SSM complete merger

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Jim Leute
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

MADISON—The necessary approvals have been granted, and SSM Health Care and Dean Health Systems have completed a merger the two healthcare providers started working toward earlier this year.

Officials of the St. Louis-based SSM, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the country, and the Madison-based Dean, a large multi-specialty physician group, announced in April they had signed an agreement under which Dean and its subsidiaries would become part of SSM.

More than 97 percent of the Dean physician shareholders voted in May to approve the deal. Other regulatory agencies recently signed off, and the merger became effective Sunday.

Previously, SSM owned 5 percent of Dean Health System and Dean physicians owned the rest. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Officials from both organizations have said the merger will strengthen a relationship that's more than 100 years old.

The merger creates one of the largest integrated health delivery networks in the country.

By bringing together hospitals, clinics and the health plan, SSM and Dean can better coordinate care to keep people healthier and improve the patient experience, William Thompson, SSM Health Care's president, said in a news release.

Over time, the integrated approach will contribute to better quality and lower the overall cost of care.

“Dean and SSM have a long tradition of caring for people, and together we will create a new model of care and caring that will lead to healthier people in Wisconsin and beyond,” Thompson said. “We remain absolutely committed to what has made both Dean and SSM successful in the past: doing what is best for the people we serve.”

Thompson said patients would continue to receive the same care they have always had from SSM hospitals. He added that patients would not see any disruption in care on the Dean Clinic and Dean Health Plan side.

SSM has been in Wisconsin since 1912, when it opened St. Mary's Hospital in Madison. It also owns St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo, St. Mary's Care Center in Madison and St. Clare Meadows Care Center in Baraboo.

In Janesville, SSM and Dean worked together for more than three years to build a $145 million facility that opened in January 2012 as St. Mary's Janesville Hospital and Dean Clinic-Janesville East.

“Since we opened 18 months ago, our community has thought of Dean and St. Mary's Janesville as one,” said Kerry Swanson, president of St. Mary's Janesville Hospital. “Now that we are officially one organization, we will be in an even better position to deliver on our community's desire for high-quality, integrated health care.”

SSM has 1,300 physicians and 30,000 employees in Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois and Wisconsin. SSM also has a minority interest in the not-for-profit Edgerton Hospital.

Dean Health Systems comprises a network of more than 60 clinics, Dean Health Plan, Davis Duehr Dean eye care, Dean Pharmacy and Navitus Health Solutions.

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