Boone Hospital, MU Health Care exploring partnership

Boone Hospital Center and University of Missouri Health Care have entered into exclusive discussions to establish a partnership, Brian Neuner, chairman of the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees, said Tuesday.

The partnership would aim to help the hospitals compete with larger markets and improve subspecialty care in mid-Missouri, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports.

No deal is complete. Tuesday’s announcement just means that Boone Hospital Center has chosen MU Health Care as the best of four suitors interested in operating the hospital.

Boone Hospital Center has been in a partnership with BJC HealthCare for 28 years. The contract runs until December 2020, and Boone Hospital Center has until December 2018 to notify BJC if it will not renew the deal for another five years, and a split seems likely.

In the meantime, other health care organizations interested in a partnership with Boone Hospital Center — BJC HealthCare, Duke LifePoint Healthcare and Saint Luke’s Health System — are waiting but remain interested.

One challenge the potential partnership may face is antitrust laws that could be triggered by two hospitals in the same market working together. MU Health Care CEO Jonathan Curtright emphasized this issue is something both sides are conscious of, and they’ll be working together and with their lawyers to address it.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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