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Washington Hospital Center agrees to partner with United Medical Center

Washington Business Journal, September 10, 2010

The region's largest private hospital has agreed to a deal in principle that could steer nearly 1,000 baby births — nearly a quarter of its annual total — to the D.C.-owned United Medical Center in Southeast, helping relieve crowding in its own obstetrics unit and boosting revenue at the underused facility.

Under the plan announced Thursday, the 926-bed Washington Hospital Center would provide staffing and management for UMC's birth unit, including up to nine of its physicians who currently practice either at WHC or the Unity Health Care primary-care clinics in the neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.

UMC would pay a management fee for the services and staffing, but the hospital expects to nearly triple its current annual birth count, from less than 500 to 1,500 annually, which could add $7 million in new revenue, said United Medical Center CEO Frank DeLisi. Births are among the most lucrative and desirable services offered by acute-care hospitals, and obstetrics is a loss leader at UMC because of its under-use.