Not-for-profit hospitals in North Carolina ended last week with a flurry of consolidation agreements.
The 948-bed Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., said it is discussing the formation of a regional alliance with 264-bed Durham Regional Hospital, 534-bed Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., and other hospitals in the area.
Nancy Jensen, a spokeswoman for Duke, said the alliance is intended as a loose affiliation among the hospitals that would allow them to join with emerging regional independent practice associations and other physician groups to secure managed-care contracts.
In addition, Duke and Rex Healthcare said they are conducting preliminary discussions on a wide range of other ways the two hospitals can work together. Kevin Cain, vice president of marketing for Rex, said the hospitals are discussing certain shared-services agreements that would expand their current relationship. He said Duke physicians now provide pediatric subspecialty and gynecological oncology services at Rex.
After four years of talks, Duke also is moving forward with plans to partner with Durham Regional. The academic medical center and county hospital have agreed to pursue a lease arrangement under which day-to-day management of Durham Regional would shift to Duke while the county would continue to own its assets. A final agreement is expected by July.
Meanwhile, Carolina Medicorp in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Presbyterian Healthcare System in Charlotte, N.C., announced plans to merge by Sept. 30. Merger terms weren't disclosed.
The merged system, to be called Novant Health, will include 911-bed Forsyth Memorial Hospital in Winston-Salem, 593-bed Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, three long-term-care facilities and Partners National Health Plans of North Carolina, a 171,500-enrollee HMO.
The system's headquarters will be in both Winston-Salem and Charlotte and will be led by Paul Wiles, now president and chief executive officer of Carolina Medicorp.