SSM Health Care and Dean Health System are working on a merger.
SSM is the parent company of St. Mary's Hospital in Madison. A release from the two companies says Dean and its subsidiaries would become part of SSM. The merger needs approval of Dean Physician shareholders and regulators.
SSM Health Care CEO William Thompson says it's an opportunity to take the "high quality, low cost" model the two systems have developed in south-central Wisconsin and expand it throughout the Midwest.
The merger could be complete by this summer.