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Advocate, Aurora health systems propose merger

An Advocate hospital in Chicago. Photo: Kiichiro Sato / AP

Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care — large not-for-profit hospital systems based in Illinois and Wisconsin, respectively — have agreed to merge into one system that would have 27 hospitals, $11 billion in revenue and strong negotiating leverage in the two states.

Why it matters: The CVS-Aetna merger is capturing most of the health care consolidation attention. But hospitals have been merging at a rapid pace as a way to offset declining or stagnant revenues. Advocate most recently tried to merge with NorthShore University HealthSystem in Chicago, but the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust concerns forced the two sides to call off the deal.