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FTC OKs proposed Aurora Health Care, Advocate merger

Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care and Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care have reportedly received approval to merge from the Federal Trade Commission, according to the Milwaukee Business News.

Letters from Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board Chairman Kathryn Olson to Advocate dated Feb. 5 reveal the proposed merger also received approval from the agency for the change of ownership of 15 Advocate hospitals, according to the report.

If successful, the proposed merger would create the 10th largest health system in the nation with annual revenues of about $11 billion and comprise 27 hospitals and 73,000-plus employees.

The organizations announced their intent to merge last December.

"We are excited to move one step closer to bringing our two great organizations together to reimagine the possibilities of health for those we serve," the health systems told Becker's Hospital Review Feb. 15 in a joint emailed statement. "Advancing through the FTC's review process was a key milestone in addition to securing regulatory approval in Illinois. We look forward to the final step of receiving approval in Wisconsin before our anticipated closing this spring."

The proposed merger must still receive approval from Wisconsin healthcare officials.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 10:15 a.m. to include a joint statement from the health systems.

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