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Hoag and St. Joseph Join Medical Forces

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and St. Joseph Health announce plans to form a partnership.

Two medical powerhouses in Orange County announced plans today to form a partnership that will be focused on cutting costs and providing more efficient healthcare.

and St. Joseph Health System explained their affiliation plans Wednesday. Hospital officials said the new partnership is not a merger or sale, but instead will be a new company which has yet to be named. The new partnership needs to garner the approval of the California attorney general's office, a process expected to begin in October.

The hospital partnership will strive to make healthcare more efficient and improve the overall patient experience, develop programs that will address care for the poor and underserved communities, focus on care extending beyond the acute hospital setting, including wellness and prevention programs and more.

"We know there are a lot of vulnerable people in our region, they have limited access to healthcare and we believe its our role to create that accessibility to the highest value of healthcare services, to everyone no matter what their circumstances are," Richard Afable, Hoag president and CEO, said.

The new integrated system will include Hoag and St. Joseph's respective Southern California hospitals, an expansive physician network, and numerous outpatient and urgent care facilities in Orange County and the high desert. Hoag includes the Newport Beach hospital and a campus in Irvine. St. Joseph Health’s facilities include St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Fullerton’s St. Jude Medical Center and Mission Hospital with campuses in Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach. It also owns St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley.

"We know healthcare can be much better and we think we can do it better, together," said Deborah Proctor, president and CEO of St. Joseph Health. "We believe we need to be good stewards to the community, coming together will allow us to do that more efficiently and effectively and not have to be duplicating services across the county."

Hoag and St. Joseph Health will keep their individual faith affiliations, Presbyterian and Catholic, respectively. Afable explained the partnership as a marriage saying, "we can create something new and different that neither one of us can create on our own."

In its most recent annual report for 2010, Hoag lists it’s assets at $1.46 billion and its revenue at $812,838. In its 2011 annual report St. Joseph Health System lists it’s revenue for the year at $4.2 billion.

According to hospital officials, the new partnership will not result in any job loss in the first few years, but the two hospitals will look into making nonsurgical and back office operations more efficient.

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