St. Luke | Aspirus healthcare

Proposal for St. Lukes to Affiliate with Aspirus Health to Improve Health Care Quality and Expand Access to Services in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan

Aspirus Health is pleased to announce that St. Lukes has signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Aspirus. By affiliated with St. Lukes, headquartered in Duluth, MN, our organizations will expand access to care to more people throughout our region in northeastern Minnesota, northern and central Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

This affiliation will increase our impact and focus on improving the health and well-being of every patient and community we serve.
St. Lukes is a like-minded healthcare system that fits the Aspirus patient-centered mission. The affiliation means Aspirus and St. Lukes can expand our impact, invest in infrastructure and improve the health of the people it serves.

This agreement will allow both organizations to leverage their collective strengths and specialties to create a broader healthcare network that patients can rely on, as well as greater opportunities for each organization’s dedicated staff.

Patient-centred care will remain

Aspirus’ goal will always be to provide the best care for its patients. Through this expanded network, Aspirus and St. Lukes will work to standardize clinical protocols and develop innovative research to improve the lives of patients and families.

Together, the new organization will operate 19 hospitals and 130 outpatient locations, with nearly 14,000 team members, including more than 1,300 affiliated, independent and employee physicians and advanced practice providers. The system will operate the corporate headquarters in Wausau, WI and also maintain corporate offices in Duluth, MN.

For more information, read the full announcement here.

By aligning our organizations, Aspirus and St. Lukes are confident that both our communities and employees will reap significant benefits, such as:

  • Affiliation with a like-minded system that will build on and strengthen the cultures and success of both organizations.
  • Our combined organizations will preserve, improve and even expand vital local health serviceswhile focusing on maintaining high quality care, delivering exceptional patient experiences and maximizing value for patients.
  • This will allow increased collaboration and further investment in our infrastructure and people.
  • We will provide growth opportunities for our workforce and honor existing labor and union contracts.
  • We will build our efforts to attracting and maintaining a pipeline of high quality residents, physicians, APCs, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
  • Patients will also have access to competitive health insurance plans in Minnesota through the Aspirus Health Plan.

There remains quality care for patients and community members

As this referral process continues to evolve, St. Lukes and Aspirus patients will continue to receive exceptional care from the doctors and teams they know and trust. Nothing changes in the way patients or health plan members receive care in either organization.

Following a definitive settlement and closing of the deal, St. Lukes will remain a major healthcare hub for the region, a role that will benefit from the successful model of care that Aspirus has developed through its current footprint.

Next steps

Aspirus Health and St. Lukes hope to complete the affiliation process, after all due diligence and regulatory reviews, in early 2024. Each organization will keep their communities informed as updates become available.

For more information, see the official joint announcement here.

We look forward to this affiliation creating a bright future for health in our region.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What does this mean for patients and the community?

Affiliation with St. Lukes will expand services that are vital to the region and rural communities. In doing so, Aspirus will further our goal of improving the health and well-being of every patient we serve. This combined and strengthened entity will allow us to build on the collective strengths of each organization in a way that will ultimately create a stronger health care system in the region. Together we will provide patient access to 19 hospitals, more than 130 clinics and nearly 14,000 employees, including nearly 1,300 advanced practice physicians and clinicians.

Can patients still use the same doctors and care facilities?

There will be no impact on patients, the doctors they visit, or the care facilities where they receive care at either organization.

Will my insurance still be accepted?

There will be no impact on patients, the doctors they see, or the care facilities where they receive services. Patients can still see their own doctors and use their own health plan.

Will patient care change?

Coming together will enable both healthcare systems to maintain and enhance our exceptional quality and patient experience.

Will my healthcare now be more expensive?

Aspirus has a track record of keeping costs lower than most other health care systems in Wisconsin, and this has continued to hold true as it affiliates with other health care systems.

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