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May 18, 2005

Merger rumblings in the Medical Center

St. Luke's logo.jpgThe Texas Medical Center has already been rocked over the past year by the split between longtime partners Baylor Medical School and The Methodist Hospital, but today's Chronicle article by Todd Ackerman adds a new level of uncertainty for the heart of Houston's medical community:

St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital is weighing offers that would align it with either Memorial Hermann Hospital or a consortium of Texas Children's and The Methodist hospitals. . . St. Luke's would merge with Memorial Hermann under the first scenario.

Texas Children's and Methodist would purchase the hospital under the second.

Those options ? and a third that St. Luke's continue to go it alone ? are before the St. Luke's board of directors now, . . .

A decision should come within a few months.

Never a dull moment in the Medical Center, eh? Mr. Ackerman reports that the negotiations are the product of a developing consensus within the Medical Center that more collaboration is needed between the various institutions.

Nevertheless, the proposed collaborations are ambitious and complicated, to say the least. Inasmuch as St. Luke's is the new teaching hospital of Baylor Medical School and Memorial Hermann is the longtime teaching hospital for the University of Texas Health Science Center, any St. Luke's-Hermann merger would have the added complication of providing resources for two medical schools.

Similarly, an acquisition of St. Luke's by Methodist would be akin to annulling the acrimonious divorce between Methodist and Baylor.

So, stay tuned. The pressures of providing quality health care services in this era of strained health care finance makes for some very interesting bedfellows.

Posted by Tom at May 18, 2005 5:54 AM |

Comments

Does anyone else think that these splits and mergers and realignments in the Medical Center sound an awful lot like trying to keep up with which NCAA teams are in the Big East, the ACC, and Conference USA?

Posted by: jim bob baker at May 18, 2005 7:19 AM

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