One of Indiana's major healthcare providers has announced plans to merge two downtown Indianapolis hospitals.
Indiana University Health plans to merge the services of University Hospital and Methodist Hospital in a single building, The Indianapolis Business Journal and The Indianapolis Star reported. IU Health announced the plan Friday.
"We're going to have one adult academic health center," said Jonathan Curtright, chief operating officer of University and Methodist hospitals. "The logic of this is that we need to best utilize our resources. We need to have fully utilized facilities."
It was not clear whether one of the existing hospitals will move its operations into the other or a new building will be constructed. IU Health said a committee of hospital officials and physicians hopes to make that decision by this fall. The team is examining ways to cut costs and treat more patients outside hospitals.
University Hospital is on the downtown campus of Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, and Methodist is north of it. If a new hospital is built, officials said it would be downtown.
Methodist opened in 1908, and University Hospital opened in 1970.The hospitals, along with the Riley Hospital for Children, operated independently until 1997, when they came together under the umbrella organization that evolved into IU Health.
The hospitals already are consolidating emergency room operation at Methodist, a move that is expected to be completed by July 1.
IU Health operates 18 hospitals and employs 29,000 people statewide.