"The combination of what we bring to the table, our operational excellence, our access to capital, our commitment to quality, Duke's reputation, their clinical expertise, you couple those and offer them to a stand-alone community hospital that is facing many challenges, more so in the future with health reform and the increases in regulation, and the capital commitments that will have to be made for IT, those kinds of things, they need a strong partners going forward. We believe the DLP partnership offers them the best of both worlds," she said.
Koford said LifePoint is also "in discussions" with other health systems in other states about setting up similar partnerships. "We look for those systems that have a strong market position and a very solid reputation for quality," she said.
LifePoint Hospitals operates 52 hospitals in 17 states, and specializes in community hospitals in non-urban markets where the hospital is the sole provider in most of the communities it serves. Duke University Health System has inpatient and ambulatory locations across North Carolina and surrounding areas, and has partnered with hospitals in its region to establish specialized medical services in their communities.