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HealthPartners, Park Nicollet sign agreement to combine organizations

Two longstanding health care innovators to work toward better quality, affordability, and patient
experience across the Twin Cities region


BLOOMINGTON and ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - August 30, 2012. HealthPartners and Park Nicollet Health Services announced today that their boards of directors have signed an agreement to combine their organizations and create a comprehensive, integrated health care delivery and financing organization serving the entire Twin Cities metro area and western Wisconsin.

The agreement will unite the non-profit organizations under a combined, consumer-governed board of directors, creating a 1,500-physician multispecialty group practice integrated with the HealthPartners health plan. The organizations expect that benefits to the community will include stronger coordination of patient care, shared planning and capital investment, and new links between care and insurance that will lead to more transparency, choice and value for consumers.

“HealthPartners and Park Nicollet share the same mission: making people healthier, making health care more affordable, and creating the best possible experience for our patients and members,” said Mary Brainerd, HealthPartners president and CEO. “Separately, and in partnership, we’ve worked toward these goals in the Twin Cities area for decades. Together, we’ll be better able to pursue this mission across our region for the benefit of the people we serve.”

“Park Nicollet and HealthPartners are two of the strongest local collaborators in support of our common goal of improving access to high-quality, compassionate care for people in the Twin Cities,” said David Abelson, MD, president and CEO, Park Nicollet. “In many ways, we’ve shown what’s possible when health care organizations work together to put people first. By combining our organizations, we’ll take that collaborative spirit much further, creating new potential for meeting the changing needs of our community at this important time in health care.”

The organizations’ current leaders will have leadership positions in the combined, non-profit organization. Brainerd, who joined HealthPartners in 1992, will be CEO of the new organization, which will be named HealthPartners. Abelson, who began his Park Nicollet career in 1983 as a practicing internist, will lead the combined organization’s care delivery system, which will be named the Park Nicollet HealthPartners Care Group.

In light of the strong presence of the two organizations in the communities they serve, the combined organization will continue to use the Park Nicollet and HealthPartners names. Patients and members will interact with their clinics and health plan just as before, with no change or interruption. Over time, however, the combined organization will offer a broader, deeper set of coordinated care and coverage services across the Twin Cities region.

“We have a proud tradition as the nation’s largest consumer-governed health care organization,” said Ann Wynia, chair, HealthPartners board of directors. “As we look forward to an important new chapter in our history with Park Nicollet, we will build on that foundation, governed by those who matter most – our patients and members.”

“Few organizations have shown such a consistent, meaningful commitment to the Twin Cities community as have Park Nicollet and HealthPartners,” said Kenneth Thome, chair, Park Nicollet board of directors. “We see a future in which that commitment will be renewed and strengthened by the bringing together of two, likeminded organizations dedicated to very similar missions.”

The combined operations will include Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, four HealthPartners hospitals – Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, Hudson Hospital in Hudson, Wis., and Westfields Hospital in New Richmond, Wis. – and a comprehensive system of medical and dental clinics across the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin. This system will be integrated with the HealthPartners health plan, which serves more than 1.4 million medical and dental members nationwide.

Pending routine closure procedures and regulatory review, the agreement will be effective Jan. 1, 2013.


About Park Nicollet Health Services

Park Nicollet Health Services (www.parknicollet.com) is an integrated care system that includes Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, Park Nicollet Clinic, Park Nicollet Foundation and Park Nicollet Institute. Park Nicollet Health Services is based in St. Louis Park and has more than 8,100 employees, including more than 670 fully employed physicians on staff. Park Nicollet has served the Twin Cities for 120 years, beginning as Asbury Hospital in 1892.


About HealthPartners

Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners (www.healthpartners.com) family of health care companies serves more than 1.4 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. It is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation providing care, coverage, research and education to improve the health of members, patients and the community. HealthPartners is the top-ranked commercial health plan in Minnesota and is also ranked among the top 25 plans in the nation according to NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2011–12 – private.