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MD's St. Joseph hospital seeks strategic partnership

The Baltimore Sun, October 18, 2011

St. Joseph Medical Center is looking to partner with other hospitals as it continues to lose patients and revenue in the wake of problems with its lead cardiologist — a move that experts say might even lead to a merger. The Towson hospital has asked area hospitals to present options for forming a "strategic partnership" that its executives hope would improve the quality of care and services to patients. St. Joseph executives, who insist the hospital is not for sale, said they were prompted to enter talks with other hospitals by changes in the health care industry. Hospitals have been merging rapidly and looking for ways to operate more efficiently as they face competitors such as urgent-care centers and declines in reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid — both trends that cut into profits. Its closest hospital neighbor, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, wouldn't confirm whether it was in talks with St. Joseph, but said "one strong system of care in Towson" would be a good idea.