Around 40 hospital deals have been announced in 2018, through May 25, and all but four have targeted a standalone hospital (including seven critical access hospitals).

The largest hospital deal announced in May, based on the number of hospitals involved, was the merger of Centegra Health System‘s three hospitals with Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, a seven-hospital system based in Chicago, Illinois.

Centegra operates three hospitals in McHenry County, where it is the largest employer. They are Centegra Health Huntley (128 beds), Centegra Health McHenry (151 beds) and Centegra Health Woodstock (72 beds).

Northwestern Memorial has seven hospitals in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, an academic medical center in downtown Chicago.

Northwestern will govern, direct and oversee Centegra’s business, property and funds..

These two systems signed a letter of intent in 2016, but did not disclose a definitive agreement. On May 7, 2018, a local paper disclosed they had filed for merger approval from the Illinois Facilities & Services Review Board. They plan to merge on September 1, 2018.

In a report released in early May 2018, Fitch Ratings said it expects Centegra’s bond rating to be downgraded, potentially by several notches, if the system is not acquired by Northwestern.