The Minnesota Hospital Association and the Metropolitan Healthcare Council in St. Paul said last week that they plan to merge by Oct. 1 to represent their members better at less cost.
Many state and regional associations are examining their roles as mergers and alliances transform their memberships (June 27, 1994, p. Associations
70). For example, the Hospital Association of Metropolitan St. Louis folded last year after its members decided to contract with the state association for services.
In this case, however, the two hospital groups will form a new organization, said a spokeswoman for the healthcare council. They have appointed a committee to sort out details of the merger and have hired consultants to seek a new chief executive officer.
"We really feel that one organization will provide a better focus," said Sayre Carlson, a council spokeswoman. "It will be able to better serve integrated healthcare organizations."
Additionally, one goal of the merger committee is a 25% reduction in the fees hospitals pay to belong to both organizations, Carlson said.
The hospital association, based in Minneapolis, represents 146 hospitals and health systems. It has an annual budget of $3.7 million and employs 35 people. The council, based a few miles away in St. Paul, represents 25 hospitals and health systems in the Twin Cities area. It has an annual budget of $3.4 million and employs 32 people.