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Peoria area’s UnityPoint hospitals could shift to Carle Health system

Kristin McHugh

UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois is exploring a potential transition of its three Greater Peoria hospitals and other affiliates to Urbana-based Carle Health.

“Our organizations share a deep commitment to improving the health of the people of the communities we serve,” UnityPoint-Central Illinois regional president and CEO Dr. Keith Knepp said in a news release announcing the proposal.

The possible partnership would integrate UnityPoint's Methodist, Proctor and Pekin hospitals and clinics, as well as Methodist College and other health care services, into the Carle organization.

The two health care companies have signed two non-binding letters of intent, with the second having UnityPoint and Carle looking into ways to collaborate and improve efficiency.

“By combining our strengths in care delivery, health insurance, research, and medical education, we are uniquely positioned to improve health in our communities and lower the overall cost of care,” Knepp said in the announcement.

UnityPoint said both systems’ use of electronic patient records and focus on medical education would allow for a seamless transition.

“We believe bringing services together will mean even better health for our patients and our communities,” Carle president and CEO Dr. James Leonard said in the release.

The two organizations will work on full details of the potential integration and partnership and how to meet regulatory requirements. If all obligations are met and a full agreement finalized, the anticipated closing date would be mid-to-late 2022.

“Coming together in Peoria and the surrounding region is an important opportunity to serve patients,” said Leonard.

Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.