Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.'s efforts to expand its Colorado operations beyond Denver were dealt a blow last week.
Columbia was discussing a possible joint venture or acquisition of 340-bed Memorial Hospital, a profitable public hospital in Colorado Springs, about 70 miles south of Denver. Last week, the Memorial board of trustees voted against recommending a deal with Columbia to the Colorado Springs City Council. The hospital is owned by the city of Colorado Springs, and ownership changes require approval of city residents.
Currently, Memorial belongs to the new HealthCare Colorado network with 11 other hospitals (April 1, p. 22).
In a written statement, the Memorial board said a joint venture or acquisition by Columbia "would not improve the quality of care provided to patients or the community and would impair local control." HealthCare Colorado is "consistent with expressed community wishes to retain local control," it said.