Tenet Healthcare Corp., the nation's second-largest for-profit hospital chain, unveiled a five-hospital joint venture with Nashville's Baptist Hospital, the chief not-for-profit rival in Tennessee of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.
Baptist and Columbia, also headquartered in Nashville, have been in a heated battle for control of small and rural hospitals in the Nashville area as referral sources for their tertiary facilities in the city.
A Tenet-Baptist alliance significantly changes the tenor of the Baptist-Columbia rivalry.
The new joint venture, called Mid-Tennessee Health Partners, initially will focus on Coffee, DeKalb and Wilson counties, where Baptist and Tenet operate hospitals.
The hospitals involved are three Tenet facilities-University Medical Center in Lebanon; Harton Regional Medical Center in Tullahoma; and Medical Center of Manchester (Tenn.)-and two Baptist facilities-Baptist Hospital in Nashville and Baptist Dekalb Hospital in Smithville.
Tenet and Baptist executives said additional Tennessee hospitals could become part of the deal in the future.
The financial terms of the joint venture arrangements weren't available at deadline.