Healthcare Business News

St. Luke's, three systems form partnership

By Beth Kutscher
Posted: October 24, 2012 - 2:00 pm ET

In an effort to reduce healthcare costs, St. Luke's Health System, Kansas City, Mo., has formed a partnership with three other systems that will cover three states and about 30 hospitals.

Known as the BJC Collaborative, the partnership will also include BJC HealthCare, St. Louis; CoxHealth, Springfield, Mo., and Memorial Health System, Springfield, Ill. The four not-for-profit systems, which will remain independent, have combined annual revenue of almost $7 billion, according to a news release.

The release pegged healthcare reform as inspiring the deal, which will allow the systems to take advantage of cost savings and operational efficiencies as well as share clinical expertise.

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Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed. The collaborative will not have a physical location or its own employees, and the CEOs and a board member from each system will serve as voting members. Operating committees of executives from each system will help run the collaborative.

The systems, which are in adjacent regions but don't overlap, will share strategies in population health management, healthcare IT adoption, training programs, capital improvements and financial services.

They also plan to take advantage of further opportunities to realize economies of scale, with the release noting that the systems are members of VHA, a network of community-owned systems, and have worked with its group purchasing organization, Novation, to help reduce costs.

The systems are not planning to form their own GPO.

They are also planning to maintain their separate electronic health records for the time being, instead of moving to the same platform.

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