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UnityPoint explores selling 3 hospitals to Carle Health

West Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health is exploring a deal to sell three of its hospitals in central Illinois to Urbana, Ill.-based Carle Health. 

Under the nonbinding letter of intent, announced Dec. 13, Carle Health is looking to acquire UnityPoint Health-Methodist, UnityPoint Health-Proctor and UnityPoint Health-Pekin, all based in Peoria, Ill. The agreement would also transfer ownership of Methodist College in Peoria from UnityPoint to Carle Health. The college offers baccalaureate and master's nursing degree programs, social work programs and continuing education for medical assistants. 

"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," said Keith Knepp, MD, regional president and CEO of UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois. "We look forward to working together to share expertise, advocate effectively on behalf of those we collectively serve, and help grow and sustain our healthcare workforce in the region."

In addition to the transfer of ownership, Carle Health and UnityPoint are exploring opportunities to work together to enhance efficiency, optimize performance and cut costs for both organizations. Some of the proposed ways the organizations would collaborate include expanding access to services, adding more opportunities for value-based care and contracting and working to create a pipeline for new healthcare talent. 

Both organizations are working toward a final agreement. Pending approval of the final agreement, the organizations expect the deal to close in mid-to-late 2022. 

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