Skip to Content
August 6, 2014

Six Wisconsin Health Care Systems Form New Statewide Partnership

Six Wisconsin health care organizations today announce a pioneering statewide network. Framing their strategic partnership as a new pathway for patients to access the highest quality health care across the state and region, the organizations expect the network to serve as a new model for the nation.

Six Wisconsin health care organizations today announce a pioneering statewide network. Framing their strategic partnership as a new pathway for patients to access the highest quality health care across the state and region, the organizations expect the network to serve as a new model for the nation.

The partnership was developed to build upon and advance the clinical quality, efficiency and customer experience attributes that are well-documented and shared among the six organizations.

The partnership’s founding members and their headquarters locations include:

  • Aspirus, Wausau
  • Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee
  • Bellin Health, Green Bay
  • Gundersen Health System, La Crosse
  • ThedaCare, Appleton
  • UW Health, Madison

All six organizations are recognized leaders for delivering some of the highest quality, lowest cost care in the state. Collectively, the six organizations rank three percentage points higher than peer Wisconsin health care organizations on quality measures, and are nine points more efficient according to BSG Analytics (publisher of HC Trends), a Wisconsin health care consulting and data analytics company that works with employers, payers and health systems.

Together, the organizations' service areas provide access to health care for about 90 percent of Wisconsin’s population. They also serve people in neighboring Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. Each organization in the partnership uses the same technology for electronic medical records, making it easier for patients to access their records and share with doctors in the network.

The reach of the founding partners also includes a significant number of affiliated and like-minded independent provider organizations.

“Our vision is to use our collective resources wisely by being good stewards of the clinical, administrative, IT, research, patient experience, care management and other shared expertise within our six systems,” said Greg Devine, president and CEO of the partnership. “We want to provide better value in health care.”

An initial commercial insurance plan featuring the six organizations is being offered through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Priority network. The Blue Priority product is available now through insurance brokers, the federal Health Insurance Marketplace at and private health insurance exchanges.

The partnership plans to expand coverage options, and is evaluating other insurance carriers and administrative products. “Employers and government purchasers now have access to the economic and clinical benefits of a more efficient, high quality network of care for their employees and families across the state,” said Devine. “Our aim is that the partnership will be featured in insurance plans that serve the needs of individual purchasers, as well as national employers that have a statewide presence or that are headquartered in areas we serve.”

Jeff Thompson, MD, chair of the partnership’s board of directors, and CEO of La Crosse-based Gundersen Health System, said. “Our promise to our patients and the communities we serve is to deliver high quality, lower cost health, and to improve the health of the populations we serve. This is a true partnership among our six organizations, not a merger or consolidation. It will allow us to more rapidly learn from each other, share best practices, and serve the needs of patients and families more efficiently.”

The partnership is open to expanding its membership to include other health organizations that have a demonstrated record of delivering quality, value-based care.

The new, strategic partnership among six of Wisconsin’s top-performing health care organizations makes quality, efficient care accessible to approximately 90 percent of Wisconsinites and their neighbors in parts of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. Partnership members include Aspirus, Aurora, Bellin Health, Gundersen Health System, ThedaCare and UW Health. The members have the same electronic health record platforms, and offer patients access to 44 hospitals and 5,680 physicians.

Aspirus is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. With more than 6,500 employees, Aspirus serves communities throughout 14 counties in northern and central Wisconsin, as well as the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The integrated system includes four hospitals in Michigan and three hospitals in Wisconsin, 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and helicopter transport, medical goods, nursing homes and high-quality affiliated physicians.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and 30,000 amazing Caregivers. As evidenced by more than 400 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account.

Bellin Health,, is an integrated healthcare delivery system based in Green Bay, Wis. with more than 3,200 employees. It has serviced people in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1908. The health system is known for its emphasis on preventive healthcare and for the delivery of high-quality care in cardiac, orthopedics, sports medicine, digestive health, mental health and primary care medicine. Bellin also has a strong reputation for helping employers reduce healthcare costs while improving employee health. Bellin is comprised of two hospitals, a psychiatric center, a network of primary care clinics, retail health clinics, fitness centers, a specialty physician organization, and a college for nursing and radiologic sciences.

Gundersen Health System is a comprehensive multi-specialty group medical practices. Gundersen is a physician-led, not-for profit healthcare system which includes a teaching hospital; community clinics; affiliate hospitals, clinics and nursing homes; behavioral health services; vision centers; pharmacies; and air and ground ambulance services. Gundersen serves 19 counties throughout western Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota. The hospital is a tertiary referral center and a Level II Trauma Center. The more than 700 medical, dental and associate staff are supported by a staff of more than 6,000Gundersen is the designated Western Clinical Campus for the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. The organization is consistently ranked in the upper 5 percent of hospitals in the country by independent healthcare ratings organizations.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. Community Health Network, which includes Community Memorial Hospital in Berlin, and Wild Rose Memorial Hospital are in the process of affiliating with ThedaCare. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

UW Health includes UW Hospital and Clinics, a 592-bed teaching hospital, and the UW Medical Foundation, one of the nation’s largest multi-specialty groups of physicians.  UW Hospital is a Level One trauma center for both adults and children and has been named “Wisconsin’s Best Hospital” by US News & World Report for three consecutive years.