Hospitals and health systems typically buy outpatient services such as urgent care and ambulatory surgery centers to raise their market presence. West Virginia University Health System (WVU Health), a not-for-profit system based in Morgantown, West Virginia, instead has merged with The Health Plan, a community-based not-for-profit health maintenance organization that offers Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, Point-of-Service and Preferred Provider Organization plans. Based in Wheeling, it has licenses in West Virginia’s 55 counties, as well as a 36-county area in Ohio.

WVU Health is the state’s largest health system with nine hospitals in the state and one in Oakland, Maryland. It also operates five institutes dedicated to treating cancer, trauma, cardiology, vision and neurology.

The Health Plan will become a member and subsidiary of the WVU Health System and will continue to operate as a not-for-profit organization. Its market share in group health in West Virginia was 7% in 2017, with coverage of 20,024 members, according to a West Virginia state report.

For the record, WVU Health also acquired a QuickCare urgent care practice in Parkersburg, West Virginia, in May. The price was not disclosed according to our Deal Search Online database.

As we noted in an article from 2017, urgent care centers have been on the rise, so it seems like that trend has continued throughout the years.