The Boone Hospital Board of Trustees have reached unanimous consensus to explore the feasibility of aligning Boone Hospital Center and University of Missouri Health Care, according to a Tuesday press release.

The potential merger signals the end of a process which began last year as Boone Hospital began seeking a new management contract.

“We are making this announcement today because we believe it is appropriate to notify our other potential partners, BJC HealthCare, Duke/LifePoint Health Care and Saint Luke’s Health System of our intent to put further negotiations with them on hold at this time,” said Trustees Chair Brian Neuner in the release.

One priority for the Trustees is working with BJC HealthCare to make Boone Hospital employees and Boone Hospital Medical Staff aware of these discussions. The release said the Trustees look forward to exploring with MU Health the potential to enhance quality, increase efficiency, and expand the delivery of health care access in the communities both serve.

“These discussions have the potential to help us identify ways to build a truly innovative and more effective system of healthcare delivery and innovation,” added Neuner. “Working together, we have the potential to deliver healthcare that is second to none.”

Southern Boone District Boone County Commissioner Fred Parry, a former Boone Hospital Trustee (he resigned when elected to the county commission) said last fall that he thought the hospital needed to seek a better management contract, whether that came from current management – BJC HealthCare, of St. Louis – or another partner.

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By Bruce Wallace