One of Kansas City, Mo.'s largest providers, 675-bed St. Luke's Health System, probably will sign on with a nascent hospital network there, according to local news reports.
St. Luke's chief executive, Charles Lindstrom, told a local business journal earlier this month that the system would "develop a relationship" with the network. In other press accounts, executives said St. Luke's is seriously considering joining the network.
Last week, Mr. Lindstrom referred telephone calls to his public relations department. A St. Luke's spokeswoman told MODERN HEALTHCARE that she had "no information" about the system's plans.
The new network, dubbed the "beltway alliance" by local news organizations, now involves six area hospitals, led by 250-bed Saint Joseph Health Center in Kansas City, Mo. (March 14, p. 8). Executives began forming the network in January.
A Saint Joseph spokeswoman said last week that the network was talking with St. Luke's about an alliance. "Discussions are occurring about that," spokeswoman Mahnaz Shabbir said. "We'll have a formal announcement within the next couple of weeks."
Rumors abound about the future of St. Luke's. The system has said it's discussing various options with many providers. Those include Louisville, Ky.-based Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., St. Louis-based BJC Health System and 130-bed Olathe (Kan.) Medical Center, which recently formed its own network.
St. Luke's already is connected with Saint Joseph through HealthNet, a managed-care organization owned by 10 Kansas City-area hospitals.
St. Luke's operates 528-bed St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and 147-bed St. Luke's Northland Hospital, which has campuses in Smithville, Mo., and North Kansas City, Mo.