MANHATTAN — A potential merger between two major hospital networks has moved a step closer to reality, officials said Tuesday.
Bradley Korn, a representative for Continuum Health Partners, told Community Board 6's Health, Senior and Disability committee Tuesday night that Continuum has decided to establish a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mt. Sinai Hospital for a possible merger.
“The MOU is only the first step of beginning a merger process,” Korn said. “Obviously both sides want it, but these are big institutions, so it’ll take some time.”
An MOU is a document establishing an agreement by both parties to find a common line of action. It isn’t a legal commitment, but it is a step in that direction, Korn said.
Continuum — whose network includes Beth Israel, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt hospitals — will be holding a private board meeting on Wednesday night, with the approval to sign the MOU one of the items on the agenda, Korn explained.
A spokeswoman for Mount Sinai said it voted to approve the MOU on Monday, and also confirmed that Continuum's boards of trustees are scheduled to vote on it Wednesday.
Last summer, Continuum and NYU Langone Medical Center discussed a possible merger between the two hospital systems, but talks fell through when NYU backed out of negotiations once it learned that Continuum was also considering a partnership with Mount Sinai.
Now, nearly eight months later, Continuum and Mount Sinai are ready to put their proposal down on paper.
“The MOU outlines steps towards creation of a new integrated health care system combining operations of two entities,” said Diana Pearson, a spokeswoman for Mount Sinai.