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Gundersen and Marshfield Clinic in discussions of possible merger

Drew Kelly

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Two leading health organizations in Wisconsin might be coming together.

Gundersen Health System and Marshfield Clinic Health System have announced they are in negotiations to merge, possibly by the end of the year.

Gundersen representatives point to similar objectives, and the ability to address deficiencies in care by collaborating.

Officials say the move could lead to greater efficiency for both companies, which in turn would help patients.

“We can work on our services and how to better deliver those across the whole continuum of care”, says Gundersen CEO Scott Rathgaber. “Together and larger we really hope to bring the cost of care down by having those efficiencies.”

Rathgaber made clear that both companies are on equal footing in the negotiations.

“We are looking at this as a merger of equals. We want to use the strengths and leverage them from both systems to make the new entity even better. This isn’t a lifeline from one organization or the other.”

The merger would bring employees to more than 19,000.