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University of Washington Medicine, PeaceHealth to Affiliate

Another major health system alliance has hit the Pacific Northwest, as Seattle-based University of Washington Medicine and Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth have signed a letter of intent to create a "strategic affiliation."

The two non-profit health systems signed the letter of intent yesterday and expect to reach a definitive agreement by Sept. 30. No government regulatory approval is needed, as both organizations will remain legally independent, and governance will not be altered.

Officials at Catholic-based PeaceHealth and secular UW Medicine said the affiliation will revolve around providing a more cost-effective, community-focused continuum of care with an emphasis on shared data and evidence-based medicine.

"PeaceHealth and UW Medicine have worked together informally for years," said Paul Ramsey, MD, CEO of UW Medicine in a news release, "and we are excited to collaborate at a deeper level to further our progress around continuity of care, evidence-based protocols and access to care in the local community by expert clinicians who are working together to improve the health of the community."

Health system affiliations are not new to the region. In February 2012, Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services and Seattle-based Swedish Health Services finalized their affiliation. PeaceHealth's decision to partner with UW Medicine comes more than a month after it announced it suspended partnership discussions with Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives.

UW Medicine includes four academic-based hospitals, including University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, both based in Seattle. PeaceHealth's network includes nine hospitals scattered across Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

More Articles on Hospital Affiliations:

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, New London Hospitals Submit Affiliation Agreement After 2-Month Delay
Oak Valley Hospital, Dignity Health in California to End 15-Year Affiliation
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Mountain States Health Alliance to Affiliate

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