University Community Hospital in Tampa, Fla., is discussing a possible affiliation with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. that would give the for-profit giant a key hospital in building its Tampa Bay area network, officials said.
Norman Stein, University Community's president and chief executive officer, said the 424-bed not-for-profit hospital also is discussing partnership options with several other hospital groups. He said none of the discussions under way involves a sale of the hospital's assets.
Columbia officials were unavailable for comment.
Last year, University Community was the subject of a special inspection by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations after several medical mishaps-including a wrong amputation-occurred over a three-month period. The JCAHO later gave University Community a clean bill of health.
University Community is part of BayCare Health Network, a managed-care network of 12 not-for-profit hospitals. BayCare competes for managed-care contracts with Columbia's 16-hospital Tampa Bay Health System.
Like many fast-consolidating markets, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area has two major players that have emerged through ownership or network affiliation to compete for managed-care contracts.
Columbia's managed-care network includes not-for-profit hospitals such as 731-bed Tampa General Hospital; 168-bed All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg; 120-bed H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa; and 150-bed Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital, Tarpon Springs (Sept. 25, 1995, p. 16).
Another member of BayCare, 409-bed Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg, also participates in Columbia's Tampa-area PPO, Health Advantage Network, through a contract with the University of South Florida College of Medicine (Aug. 7, 1995, p. 16).