Four years after merger talks blew up over cultural differences between Nashville-based Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. and Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare, the two institutions have mended their rift.
Last week, Columbia and Emory officials announced they plan to create a limited liability company, which has yet to be named, to manage and operate eight Columbia hospitals and five ambulatory surgery centers in the Atlanta area.
Emory's four hospitals, including flagship 513-bed Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, are not part of the deal and won't be under the control of the new company.
Columbia will lease its facilities to the for-profit company. Emory will oversee clinical management and quality assurance while Columbia will manage daily operations of the facilities.
Neither side would say how much control each partner gets in the company or how the revenues and profits would be divided.
Unlike the new deal, the 1994 proposal would have included Emory's hospitals and clinics and a physician practice group.
Emory-like Columbia-didn't want to lose control of its assets in that earlier deal, said Michael Johns, M.D., Emory's executive vice president for health affairs and chief executive officer.
The joint venture is expected to be operational by early next year.
Johns said the deal will boost Emory's and Columbia's combined market share to 20% in the Atlanta area.
In 1994 Emory ended negotiations with Columbia that would have formed one of the nation's largest medical center-based networks through a 50-50 joint venture arrangement. Emory said the new deal differs from that plan because both organizations have changed objectives. Columbia is no longer in the acquisition mode and Emory wants a partner to help it move from being a specialty center to being a full-service provider.