Advocate Aurora Health, a nonprofit system with hospitals and care sites in Illinois and Wisconsin, has teamed up with Oak Street Health to open a primary care center for adults on Medicare.

The new center, which is expected to open in April, will be located in Elgin, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago.

Founded in 2012, Oak Street Health is a Chicago-based company that operates a network of primary care centers specifically for Medicare patients. It accepts anyone with Medicare, including Original Medicare Part B, select Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans and Medicare-Medicaid plans.

Currently, it has centers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Oak Street patients don’t only receive primary care services — they also get transportation to office visits, insurance education, access to a 24/7 patient support line and community activities and events.

The ultimate goal of the company’s model is to focus on the quality of care, keep patients healthier and keep hospitalization rates lower.

The collaboration with Advocate Aurora Health represents Oak Street’s first partnership with a large integrated health system. It’s also Advocate Aurora’s first partnership with a healthcare company focused only on the Medicare population.

“By shifting focus towards quality of care instead of volume of services, there has been a meaningful improvement in reducing hospital admissions and emergency room visits,” Oak Street Health co-founder and CEO Mike Pykosz said in a statement. “We know Advocate Aurora Health shares that vision, and as a national leader in population health, is the right partner to expand our services in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.”

Through a partnership with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Oak Street Health also plans to open primary care centers in the Ocean State this spring. Two will be in Providence and a third will be in Warwick. BCBSRI members will receive access to Oak Street’s approach to primary care.

Photo: designer491, Getty Images

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