UnityPoint Health hands over central Illinois network to Carle Health

Updated April 4, 2023.

Carle Health and UnityPoint closed an integration deal on April 1 that brings three of the latter's Illinois hospitals and other associated locations under Carle's wing, per a Monday announcement. 

The assets previously comprised UnityPoint's central Illinois regional network, largely serving the Greater Peoria region of the state.

That integrated network includes the 634 collective beds of Methodist Hospital, Proctor Hospital and Pekin Hospital as well as their 76 affiliated clinics, home health services, behavioral health and addiction recovery services, Methodist College, 850 multispecialty physicians and almost 5,000 employees.

Urbana, Illinois-based nonprofit Carle Health now stands as an eight-hospital system with more than 16,800 employees and a 1,000-plus doctor and advanced practice provider physician group, according to the announcement. 

“We are stronger together,” Keith Knepp, M.D., president of Carle Health Greater Peoria, said in a release. “The strength of being one system with Carle Health is the chance to leverage more tools and resources throughout the organization in the best way possible. Patients have the opportunity to find the support they need close to home, and with providers, they know and trust.”

Carle reiterated that there will be no disruptions in patient care during the transition. The organization had previously said that the additional scale granted by its new network will help streamline system-wide operations, bolster staffing initiatives and increase access to preventive care.

November 3, 2022

Three Illinois UnityPoint Health hospitals and other locations are slated to join nearby Carle Health thanks to a new agreement signed by the systems.

Announced Tuesday, the deal will see Carle step up as the parent organization of UnityPoint Health’s central Illinois regional network as part of a “strategic affiliation.”

Included in the agreement are the 634 collective beds of Methodist Hospital, Proctor Hospital and Pekin Hospital as well as their 76 affiliated clinics, home health services and Methodist College. The integrated network includes more than 850 multispecialty physicians and employs almost 5,000 people.

The nonprofit systems anticipate the deal to close April 1, 2023, pending regulatory approvals. The organizations said there will be no changes to services, programs, appointments or patients’ providers “until that time.”

Other financial terms of the prospective deal were not disclosed.

“As we work to earn the status of trusted healthcare partner in the greater Peoria region, we will leverage best practices of both teams to enhance the patient experience and bring innovation and individualized care for years to come,” James Leonard, M.D., president and CEO of Carle Health, said in a statement.

The organizations said they are interested in expanding existing services—medical, behavioral and addiction recovery—while bringing more specialty care services and experts to the central Illinois area.

The spinoff will grow Urbana, Illinois-based Carle Health into an eight-hospital system. The additional scale would help Carle streamline its operations; support enhanced recruitment, retention and integration initiatives; and improve access to preventive care via Carle’s integrated health plans, according to the announcement.

“We are excited to join a strategic partner that shares our commitment to enhancing care close to home in Central Illinois,” Keith Knepp, M.D., president and CEO of UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois, said in a statement. “Carle has a like-minded vision for exceptional care, and this is a unique opportunity for our community.”

West Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health currently spans three states with 20 regional hospitals, 19 community network hospitals and over 450 physician clinics organized into nine regions. It employs over 32,000 people, logged a $356.5 million profit in 2021 and projects $5 billion in total annual revenue.