Bon Secours Health System and NCH Healthcare System, Naples, Fla., have agreed to share services among their four hospitals in southwest Florida.
The agreement includes joint purchasing and administrative services such as clinical laboratory and laundry.
"Our communities and our patients will benefit most from our ability to keep costs under control," said William G. Crone, NCH's president and chief executive officer. NCH includes 324-bed Naples (Fla.) Community Hospital and 50-bed North Collier Hospital.
Crone said the agreement will lead to several million dollars in cost savings. He didn't specify the amount.
Bon Secours spokeswoman Kathy Turner said the agreement paves the way for discussions about consolidating other administrative support services, including purchasing. The hospitals also plan to conduct joint managed-care contracting, she said.
Bon Secours and NCH both are shareholders of Premier, a hospital purchasing group and alliance. Bon Secours' two Florida hospitals are 216-bed Bon Secours-St. Joseph Hospital, Port Charlotte, and 387-bed Bon Secours-Venice (Fla.) Hospital.
Meanwhile, Turner said Marriottsville, Md.-based Bon Secours is continuing its collaborative talks with Lee Memorial Health System, Fort Myers, Fla., and Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Hospital. Lee Memorial and Sarasota Memorial also have formed a four-hospital alliance to share services and negotiate managed-care contracts.
If the Bon Secours-NCH group combined with Lee Memorial and Sarasota Memorial, the eight-hospital not-for-profit group would have the size to more effectively compete with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. and its seven-hospital network from Sarasota to Naples.