March 07, 2019 / Stephanie Goldberg
The Rush System for Health and Swedish Covenant Health are exploring a merger, in the latest sign that hospital consolidation has plenty of running room.
Sources close to the hospitals say negotiations are still in the early stages, and there’s no guarantee a deal will come together. If Rush and Swedish Covenant do strike a merger, it would combine one of the area’s leading academic medical centers with one of the dwindling number of significant independent hospitals in Chicago.
Rush is a three-hospital chain anchored by Rush University Medical Center on the city’s Near West Side. Swedish Covenant operates a one-hospital community health network on the North Side. Representatives for both organizations declined to comment on the merger talks.
Rush has stayed relatively quiet on the merger front in recent years while other local chains, like Northwestern Medicine, Amita Health and what’s now Advocate Aurora Health, have expanded aggressively through acquisitions. Last year, Rush called off a planned merger with Little Company of Mary Hospital & Health Care Centers for undisclosed reasons. However, it has added a string of new ambulatory care centers, including multispecialty outpatient facilities in the South Loop and Oak Brook, as well as a $473 million Near West Side outpatient center scheduled to open in 2022.