60° F

Shareholders approve Dean-SSM merger

Published On: May 22 2013 10:04:09 AM CDT
Updated On: May 22 2013 10:05:39 AM CDT


Dean physician shareholders voted Tuesday to approve a merger with SSM Health Care, according to officials from both organizations.

More than 97 percent of Dean shareholders voted in favor of the merger with the parent company of St. Mary’s Hospital, according to a news release.

The two companies signed an agreement in April under which Dean and its subsidiaries would become part of SSM Health Care. The deal still requires the approval of the Wisconsin Insurance Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and other regulatory agencies. Those decisions are expected by late summer.

The two companies have worked together for 100 years, but SSM Health Care President and CEO William P. Thompson said this process will streamline finances and decisions between the entities.

Dean Health System President and CEO Craig Samitt said this is a chance for his organization to serve patients on a larger scale by being connected to people throughout SSM’s network. Samitt added the focus will be low-cost, high-quality care.

Carl Vieth is a health systems expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, after years of work in the public health sector. Vieth said even though the two companies are calling it a merger, the process is an acquisition by definition.

Vieth said putting Dean under the same ownership as St. Mary’s could heighten health care competition in Madison and make it tougher for patients there to get referrals outside the system. He said the buyout probably won’t result in higher medical costs for people, but slightly higher premium costs are a possibility.

A transition team will begin working out the details of the integration plan.

The companies aren't releasing terms of the deal.

  • Marysville Pilchuck school shooting 4


    2 dead in school shooting near Seattle, sources say

    A school shooting has been reported at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, about 35 miles north of Seattle.

  • Craig Spencer

    America's Ebola patients

    An American doctor who was working with Ebola patients in Guinea was been diagnosed with the disease after returning to New York. Learn more about him and America's other Ebola victims.

  • Hot peppers


    Notable food recalls

    A North Carolina producer of peppers and hot sauces is voluntarily recalling 6,215 pounds of fresh serrano chili peppers because some tested positive for salmonella. Here are other notable food recalls that made headlines.

  • jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin

    Juliet James/SXC


    Games, recipes, trick-or-treating, scary movies and everything else you need to make your Halloween extra spooky.

  • Politician, politics, debate, election

    iStock / bns124

    Election Coverage

    Get up-to-date on political stories, Reality Check the latest political ads, learn about the candidates and find election results in our special section.

  • Ebola virus pink


    Ebola special coverage

    Get the latest news on the Ebola outbreak and resources to help you learn more about the deadly virus.