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Friday, April 9, 2010 - 8:39am

Atlanta Hospital Systems In Partnership Talks

St. Joseph’s Health System and Piedmont Healthcare announced Thursday a plan to form a joint operating company.

That means the two health care systems would combine their resources to form a new company.

Officials from both systems say the measure would save on costs by allowing them to buy larger quantities of supplies at a discount.

St. Joseph’s CEO Kirk Wilson says the partnership would also expand healthcare access in the Atlanta area.

"Piedmont operates where St. Joseph’s doesn’t and vise versa," Wilson said."There’s very little overlap for us and we’re able to provide more sites of care under a common label then we could if we operated separately."

The two health systems have signed letters of intent and have set aside 90 days to work out the details of the partnership.

Officials say they hope to have the joint operating company up and running by the end of the year.