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CEO Dianne Shugrue. Photo: Glens Falls Hospital
CEO Dianne Shugrue. Photo: Glens Falls Hospital

Glens Falls Hospital talks collaboration

Two more regional hospitals have entered talks that could lead to what they're describing as "alignment and collaboration."

Glens Falls Hospital and Saratoga Hospital say their boards approved the discussion. Glens Falls Hospital president Dianna Shugrue says the talks come following major budget shortfalls last year.

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"Entering the 2014 operating budget and plan," Shugrue said, "we believed it was time to maybe resurrect the talks and do something more formal. So that's where we are today."

Shugrue says the two hospitals are looking for ways to improve service, while reducing costs.  But she says there are no plans in the works for job cutbacks.

Glens Falls Hospital is one of the region's largest private employers. 

Thus move comes as full-service hospitals across the North Country face declining patient visits and lower reimbursements from the Federal government.

Angelo Carbone, president of Saratoga Hospital, described these talks as "open-ended" but he says there are no plans at present for a full merger.

"We're realy starting with a clean sheet," Carbone said, "but I think it would be a mistake to only see these processes as ultimately leading to mergers. Many steps along the way: partnering on specific programs, developing joint ventures, aligning particular planning functions—we think the menu's endless and we're fankly resistant to having it characterized as a process that can simply just lead to merger."

Talks are expected to continue throughout 2014, with administrators, physicians, and community leaders taking part.

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