Baptist Health Care, Pensacola, Fla., has signed affiliation agreements with two public hospitals in eastern Alabama.
Baptist will lease 91-bed D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton, Ala., and 51-bed Atmore (Ala.) Community Hospital through a new corporation, Escambia Alabama Community Hospitals.
The hospitals were part of Escambia County Health Care Authority, which will continue to levy taxes to provide indigent-care funding for the hospitals.
The affiliation will help Baptist and the two county hospitals reduce costs and compete for managed-care contracts, said Robert Van Slyke, president of Baptist Health Affiliates, a subsidiary of Baptist Health Care that will operate the hospitals.
Baptist Health Care now operates six hospitals, 15 clinics with 23 physicians and one nursing home in a 50-mile radius of Pensacola in Florida's panhandle, Van Slyke said.
Baptist recently announced a partnership with Sacred Heart Hospital, Pensacola, to form Covenant Health Services.
The agreement, if approved by state and federal regulatory agencies, will allow the hospital groups to combine services and conduct managed-care contracting (July 24, p. 30).
The hospitals compete in the Pensacola market with 526-bed West Florida Regional Medical Center, a for-profit hospital owned by the giant Nashville, Tenn.-based Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.