WakeMed, Duke look to collaborate, not merge
Posted June 30
Raleigh, N.C. — WakeMed and Duke Medicine said Monday that the two health systems are exploring possible collaborations but have no plans to merge.
“We are very pleased to pursue these discussions with our colleagues at Duke Medicine and to explore areas where we can work together to enhance patient care delivery while improving the overall health of our communities,” WakeMed President and Chief Executive Donald Gintzig said in a statement. “This concept ties closely to one of the foundational elements in WakeMed’s new strategic plan, which includes working closely with like-minded organizations, as well as physicians and physician organizations, to enhance the health of our community.”
Officials said they hope to enhance health care delivery, meet community health needs, reduce costs and manage the use of technology and resources more efficiently.
No decisions have been made on areas where the two entities could work together, but they already joined forces two years ago to create the Duke Children’s & WakeMed Children’s Specialty Services Clinic for specialty pediatric care.
Along with UNC Health Care, WakeMed and Duke dominate the health care market in the Triangle, and all three have jockeyed for position in recent years by signing up groups of physician specialists and expanding into suburban and rural areas. They also have frequently tried to block each other's growth plans.
Three years ago, WakeMed offered to buy crosstown rival Rex Hospital from UNC Health Care for $750 million, but it dropped the buyout effort in 2012 as part of a deal brokered by state lawmakers.
WakeMed and Duke have no legal or financial agreement in place, officials said Monday, adding that the talks aren't "a precursor to any merger, organizational consolidation, etc."
"Both organizations will continue to advance their independent business and care delivery objectives while also having the opportunity to explore potential opportunities of mutual interest," WakeMed said in a statement.