Frequently Asked Questions
What is being announced?
Rush University Medical Center and Rush Copley Medical Center (Rush Copley) in Aurora have completed the process of reorganizing their operations under a common corporate parent led by a board of trustees that will oversee the fully integrated Rush academic health system (Rush). The integration, first announced in June, became effective March 1.
The organizations will fully integrate clinical, research, education and community priorities. By building upon the 30-year relationship between the two medical centers, as well as, Rush Oak Park Hospital, which is a subsidiary of Rush University Medical Center, Rush envisions becoming the leading academic health system in the region and transforming health care. Rush intends to be a leader in coordinated care delivery models aimed at improving quality and health outcomes while lowering overall costs. The streamlined governance structure at the system level will help Rush focus on its goal of providing a single level of quality and commitment to the communities it serves.
Why did each choose to pursue this reorganization? Why now?
For 30 years, we have had great success together, so this is a logical next step. By fully integrating, we can enhance care and services to meet the needs of our patients and communities today and better position ourselves to do so in the future.
What are the benefits of this system?
We are combining the best of Rush University Medical Center and Rush Copley, and all our outpatient facilities and programs, to provide patients with a single level of the highest quality care. As an academic health system, it will bring nationally ranked clinical programs and research to the western suburbs and beyond. The health system will offer convenient access, increased investments in technology resources, improved workforce development and health care education and training programs. Specific new initiatives include the following:
- At Rush Copley
Neurosciences clinical program development
Neonatal and specialty pediatric program enhancement
Expanded access to surgical sub-specialties
Advanced women’s health specialization and programming
Pursuit of Magnet nursing designation, the highest recognition given for nursing excellence
- At Rush University Medical Center and Rush Copley
Emergency medicine residency program
- Across the Rush system
Consolidating the Epic electronic medical records system
Expanded opportunities for workforce development, health care education and training
Acceleration of technology adoption and care coordination in ways that improve the health of all communities served by the Rush system
What makes this health system different?
The Rush system intends to be a leader in coordinated disease and complex care management, and it will implement innovative care delivery models aimed at improving quality and health outcomes while lowering overall costs. No other academic health system is aligning clinical, education, research and communities’ priorities in this way throughout the region. By investing in our teams of committed professionals through programs offered by Rush University, the region’s only dedicated health sciences university, we can develop the skills to thrive in a future healthcare environment focused on improving health.
We're also enhancing access to premier health care by bringing the services and expertise of a top academic medical center to patients where they are while making health care as convenient as possible for them. Additionally, the organizations involved have long track records of working together, providing a good cultural fit for success. Rush is thoughtfully building our future with partners that share our values and vision.
What other advantages does the Rush system offer to potential partners?
We believe that the Rush system governance structure provides attractive integration opportunities. In addition, the hospitals of the Rush system each have chosen to be involved in Rush Health, a well-established membership organization with three hospitals more than 1,450 professional practitioners in approximately 130 practices, which is the focal point of population health activities for the Rush system and others. Rush Health provides valuable services to these hospital and physician members to support all-payer contracting, population health, interoperability and quality improvement.
Why is there a new board structure?
The new 13-member Rush system board of trustees is responsible for overseeing the vision and strategy for Rush, which includes Rush University Medical Center, Rush Copley, Rush Oak Park Hospital and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates. It can act swiftly on issues and decisions. This governance structure at the system level will help Rush focus on its goal of providing a single level of quality and commitment to the communities it serves. Each hospital in the Rush system will continue to maintain its own board. As the Rush system grows, if desired, the system board has the ability to expand to up to 21 members.
In what circumstances would the number of parent board members be increased?
The Rush system board has the ability to expand if other providers or other organizations join the system in the future; this would permit new members to participate in the governance of the system.
Do you anticipate future acquisitions or mergers for the system?
We are currently focused on full integration of the existing partners but continue to engage in discussions with other potential partners that would enable us to expand access to Rush programs and services.
Can you give us details, or at least a sense, of who you've engaged in discussions with?
Rush, like other health care organizations, is planning for the future and always considering potential partnerships in the region to better provide health services and improve access. Discussions with any organization are confidential, and we would not and could not reveal details about the nature of any partnership nor the names of the organizations we are talking with. We will communicate internally and externally when there is something of substance to report.
Who are the members of the parent board?
Members of the parent board include representatives of the boards of both Rush University Medical Center and Rush Copley.
Who is leading the system?
The Rush system board is led by William Goodyear, Chairman of Rush University Medical Center’s Board of Trustees. The CEO of the Rush system is Dr. Larry Goodman, who is also the CEO of Rush University Medical Center. Michael Dandorph, President of Rush University Medical Center, will also serve as President of the Rush system, overseeing the system’s strategy and operation. He is also the President of Rush University Medical Center. Barry Finn, Rush Copley President and CEO, maintains these roles and also serves as an executive officer of the Rush system.
Is there or will there be a name change?
The names of each hospital will remain the same. The system is referred to as “Rush, an academic health system.”
Where does Rush Oak Park Hospital fit in?
Rush Oak Park Hospital is an integral component of Rush University Medical Center, which acquired the hospital in 2013 from Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, Inc. Rush Oak Park Hospital is one of the three hospitals in the Rush system. All three hospitals will retain current leadership, corporate boards and management structure. Rush University Medical Center and Rush Copley will align under the system parent, and Rush Oak Park Hospital will remain aligned under Rush University Medical Center.
Together with Rush University Medical Center, Rush Oak Park Hospital has grown in patient volume and quality. It achieved Magnet status for nursing, has been named a top hospital by the Leapfrog Group for the third time, received an "A" grade for safety from the Leapfrog Group, and was also awarded 4 stars in the quality rating system for hospitals nationwide from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Will Rush Oak Park Hospital see an expansion of services similar to what's planned for Rush Copley? Will services at one Rush system hospital generally be different from others?
In January, Rush Oak Park Hospital received state approval to build a new emergency department, replacing its existing 50-year-old emergency department with a state-of-the-art facility designed to meet contemporary emergency care standards and growing patient volume. The project is estimated to cost approximately $30 million.
Services are based upon community needs and many draw upon the academic health resources of Rush. In September, Rush academic medical specialists in cardiology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, general surgery, and hepatology will see patients in Rush Oak Park Hospital’s medical office building, which also will have a new infusion therapy center for patients with a variety of illnesses requiring intravenous therapy. In addition, the hospital will be the base for a new mobile stroke treatment unit, a special ambulance outfitted with telemedicine technology and a CT scanner enabling brain imaging that is critical to accurate stroke diagnoses and treatment working with Rush stroke neurologists and other specialists. It is one of only a handful of specially-designed and built units of its kind in the United States and will serve communities in a five-mile radius around Oak Park.
What does this mean for employees at Rush Copley and Rush University Medical Center?
This integration will strengthen both organizations in the marketplace, providing increased professional opportunities for our valued teams. The ultimate transition to a single patient medical record and a unified vision and strategy will position the system as the recognized leader in fully integrating clinical, research, education and community priorities under a shared vision for excellence in patient care. Coordination with Rush University also will provide employees expanded access to health care education, training programs and career opportunities.
Will there be consolidation among departments either within administration or clinically? Will reporting lines change?
Departmental and organizational teams at each hospital will continue without change for the foreseeable future.
Will this integration lead to job loss?
No lay-offs are anticipated as result of this reorganization.
Will this change employee benefits?
While we’re always looking for ways to improve employee benefits, we do not anticipate immediate changes to employee benefits as a result of this reorganization.
Will it be easier for employees to learn about and be hired for open roles within the system?
In the coming months, we will explore these issues in greater detail. We value having the best people and want to ensure the availability of career advancement opportunities. The Rush system plans to develop a pipeline for addressing the future needs of health care, and we will develop that talent with our educational processes and workforce training.
Will Rush Copley employees have access to Rush University education and training programs?
We recognize the value education and training programs provide our employees and will work over the coming months to define how to extend those opportunities throughout the system.
Will the new system hire new employees?
In addition to further developing the talent we already have throughout the Rush system, we anticipate hiring new people as additional outpatient care locations and new programs are developed.
What does this change mean for physicians?
We are looking to expand some of our existing clinical partnerships through increased access to resources and sub-specialty providers. This integration is an effort to expand clinical services, not replace or consolidate them.
Will the employed physician groups at each hospital merge?
There are no plans in place to merge employed groups.
Is physician contracting or credentialing changed?
There are no plans to change physician contracting or medical staff credentialing.
Will Rush Copley physicians become Rush University faculty?
Interested Rush Copley physicians will have the opportunity to pursue and apply for Rush University faculty positions.
How does this integration benefit patients?
Patients stand to benefit from enhanced services and expanded programs, particularly in the western suburbs. By fully integrating, we will unify under a single electronic medical record and establish a single, high-level of quality across the system, and convenient access to it.
Do patients still have access to their physicians at Rush Copley?
Yes, the same quality team of staff and physicians will continue at Rush Copley.
Does this change increase access to sub-specialists?
Yes, we are increasing access to academic medicine, sub-specialty programs, clinical trials and research programs in the western suburbs as programs grow. We are exploring the details of our clinical alignment over the coming months but already have identified our preliminary areas of focus at Rush Copley, including: • Neurosciences clinical program development • Neonatal and specialty pediatric program enhancement • Advanced women’s health specialization and programming
Is there a change in insurance contracting?
No. Currently affiliated insurance programs will not change.
How does this change benefit our communities?
Rush University Medical Center, Rush Copley and Rush Oak Park share a unified vision for the future of health care and an unwavering commitment to the communities they serve. This commitment and vision is enhanced through the investments and collaboration to improve patient outcomes, quality care, and convenient access to premier academic medicine. We are undertaking this integration to be a leader of health care delivery transformation, and to ensure that our patients and the community will continue to receive the highest quality care and services they have come to expect from Rush University Medical, Rush Copley and Rush Oak Park.
What is happening with the existing hospital foundations?
Each organization will continue to lead its own philanthropic and community-based giving. Charitable decisions will be made locally by those closely in touch with community needs.
How are donations and gifts to each of the hospitals now being received?
Donor support of each hospital and their commitments will continue to be directed within the community. It is because of community, donor efforts and generosity that we are able to uphold our responsibilities to our patients. The Rush Copley Foundation and the Rush University Medical Center Office of Philanthropy will continue to operate separately but also will explore opportunities for collaboration.