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Hutcheson Medical, Erlanger Health Plan to End Partnership

Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., and Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Erlanger Health System have decided to end their partnership, according to a Chattanooga Times Free Press report.

Hutcheson's board of directors and Walker, Dade and Catoosa county leaders haven't been satisfied with the management agreement between the hospital and Erlanger, according to the report. Under an April 2011 agreement, an Erlanger management team has been running Hutcheson.

The Hutcheson board of directors announced Tuesday the health system and hospital were negotiating to end the partnership. However, Erlanger officials said they weren't aware of the split until the public announcement. In late June, Hutcheson and Erlanger officials put forth a proposal for the health system to lease the hospital for 30 years. That lease proposal died earlier this month after the hospital and health system were unable to reach an agreement.

Erlanger CEO Kevin Spiegel told the Chattanooga Times that although Hutcheson's decision to end the partnership took him by surprise, Erlanger plans to support the Hutcheson board during the transition.

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