- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The pressure for hospitals to cut costs is pushing three regional hospital chains operating hundreds of locations across North Carolina to combine purchasing and standardize some medical practices.

Vidant Health in Greenville, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem and WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh said Wednesday they are forming a new company to manage the benefits of working together while maintaining their independence.

Wake Med CEO Donald Gintzig said the unnamed company would use its size to force discounts on purchases of hospital equipment and other supplies and standardize training and best medical practices. It may combine billing and other back-office operations in the future.

Gintzig says the North Carolina idea is patterned on similar combinations formed in the past year in South Carolina and New England.

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