Silver Cross Hospital Enters into Affiliation with Advocate

The New Lenox-based hospital will retain its brand and other main facets of its identity, but things will change with insurance and doctor categorization.

Advocate Health Care and New Lenox-based Silver Cross Hospital and Medical Centers announced their clinical affiliation Wednesday.

As terms of the affiliation, Silver Cross will retain its own leadership, name and balance sheet and about 300 doctors who practice at Silver Cross will join Advocate Physician Partners, a 4,400-doctor organization jointly governed by Advocate and the physicians. The affiliation is slotted to last at least 5 years. 

The move is the first of this kind for Advocate. Though Silver Cross will retain its brand, it will be contracted with insurance companies and government programs as part of Advocate, and its physicians will be categorized under Advocate Physician Partners, Chicago Tribune states.

APP, a jointly governed organization by Advocate and more than 4,400 physicians, is focused on improving health care quality and outcomes while reducing the overall cost of health care.  

The affiliation is in response to the current health care climate that continues to undergo transformational change from “volume-driven” to “value-driven” care, according to a release from Advocate. 

Silver Cross Hospital will be clinically integrated with Advocate Physician Partners and Advocate Health Care by adopting the APP Clinical Integration Program and becoming a member of Advocate’s Health Outcomes Council. Through the Health Outcomes Council, we will come together to achieve short and long-term goals in support of the elimination of safety events and top decile health outcomes across the care continuum. Additionally, Silver Cross and its physicians will become a part of APP’s governing body. 

“Silver Cross is a recognized Top 100 hospital that shares our core values, including first and foremost delivering the safest and best health outcomes along with a commitment to reducing health care costs,” said Jim Skogsbergh, Advocate’s president and chief executive officer. “We are excited by this opportunity to share our experience with another health care system while extending access to our evidence-based programs.” 

Silver Cross’s president and chief executive officer, Paul Pawlak said, “By applying APP’s 15-year track record of implementing its proven clinically integrated and coordinated care model, Silver Cross will be better positioned to move more quickly to value-driven care.”

Pawlak also added that through the due diligence process it became apparent that both organizations have aligned values and that each organization will benefit from the partnership.   

Chris Udovich, M.D., chief of medical staff, Silver Cross Hospital says patients will ultimately benefit from the partnership. 

“The Silver Cross Medical staff shares Advocate Physician Partners’ vision for improving outcomes and eliminating unnecessary costs.  Adopting the clinical integration program is the best way to serve our patients and community.”

In February 2012, Silver Cross opened its new 289-bed acute care hospital in New Lenox and along with its physicians has demonstrated an exceptional ability to manage partial risk extremely well.

“Together we will continue to build on the outstanding reputations that both of our health care systems have achieved in health outcomes and patient satisfaction, and take significant steps toward improving the health of the communities we are privileged to serve,” Skogsbergh said.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Silver Cross reported more than $387 million in debt at the end of the most recent fiscal year. Sources have been speculated that the hospital would merge with a larger system because of the debt. 

In the coming weeks, APP and Silver Cross will continue to work through the operational details of the affiliation. 


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