Four more hospitals in the upper Midwest are talking about pairing off.
The board of 73-bed Memorial Hospital at Oconomowoc (Wis.) signed a letter of intent earlier this month to negotiate a possible affiliation with Waukesha Hospital System.
Details about the form a future relationship might take will be worked out during an exclusive 90-day negotiating period, said Sarah Estell, a spokeswoman for Memorial Hospital.
Waukesha Hospital System operates 322-bed Waukesha (Wis.) Memorial Hospital. An affiliation between Memorial and the system would link two of the four acute-care facilities in Waukesha County.
Memorial Hospital had sent requests for proposals to Waukesha Hospital System, Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care and Milwaukee-based Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital/Horizon Healthcare.
Memorial Hospital is currently an affiliate member of Horizon Healthcare. The future of the hospital relationship with Horizon isn't known.
In Minnesota, 30-bed Lake View Memorial Hospital in Two Harbors and 258-bed St. Luke's Hospital and Regional Trauma Center in Duluth signed a memorandum of understanding late last month to form a mergerlike partnership by January.
Details of the partnership aren't known.
A community hospital, Lake View is managed by Duluth-based Benedictine Health System. Besides its 30 acute-care beds, Lake View is attached to a 50-bed nursing home.
The memorandum of understanding bars Lake View from talking with other prospective partners until October.