Mercy Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center, two large Miami-area hospitals, have begun a three-month process to discuss non-medical joint venture opportunities and sharing support and ancillary services.
The hospitals haven't ruled out a merger, but the purpose of the cur rent discussions is to address com mon goals, said Fred Hirt, Mount Sinai's president and chief execu tive officer.
"We will look at ways we can be come more effi cient and opportunistic," Mr. Hirt said. "We could jointly invest in a service, like a new laundry or computer system, and save money by doing it together."
At this time, the hospitals aren't discussing jointly operating clinical services, Mr. Hirt said.
Mount Sinai, which is one of six teaching hospitals in Florida, operates a 707-bed hospital with 3,000 employees. Mercy, a 512-bed hospital with 1,600 employees, is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine.
Both hospitals are partners in Dimension Health, which operates a preferred provider organization and a physician-hospital organization with three other not-for-profit hospitals. Dimension recently acquired Mount Sinai HMO for an undisclosed amount (Sept. 13, 1993, p. 26).