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MU Health, Boone Hospital in partnership discussions

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Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Mo., has decided to exclusively explore a partnership with University of Missouri Health Care, also in Columbia, according to a Columbia Missourian report.

Boone chose to enter exclusive partnership talks with MU Health after looking at a number of lease and management options earlier this year, including continuing its current lease with St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare, entering a lease with Kansas City, Mo.-based St. Luke's Hospital, entering a lease with Brentwood, Tenn.-based Duke LifePoint Healthcare, or becoming a standalone operation. Boone has until the end of next year to notify BJC of a decision on its current lease, according to the report.

In the meantime, the hospital and MU Health will "date for a while — we're going to get to know each other better" prior to any final decision, Boone Board Chairman Brian Neuner said in the report.

Mr. Neuner also said the other healthcare organizations still interested in teaming up with Boone will wait as the hospital pursues exclusive partnership discussions with MU Health.

Boone and MU Health said a partnership between the organizations would help prevent duplication of efforts, improve care access and help with physician recruitment, reports Columbia Missourian.

But there are challenges ahead for the potential partnership. This includes possibly facing antitrust laws, according to the report.


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