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Health & Science

St. Luke’s And Baylor Medical School Edge Closer To Partnership

The Federal Trade Commission has cleared the way for Baylor College of Medicine to partner with St. Luke's Hospital. The agreement, which is still being negotiated, would finally give Baylor doctors a permanent hospital "home" after the medical school broke away from Methodist Hospital in 2004.


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Since the break with Methodist, Baylor has been unusual among medical schools in that it doesn’t have a primary hospital partner.

Hospitals provide training opportunities for medical students, and research and teaching opportunities for the teaching doctors.

Baylor has made do by scattering its students and residents among various hospitals — but an agreement with St. Luke’s would provide predictability and revenue.

Vivian Ho is a health care economist at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

“Baylor has been able to train its residents at Ben Taub and the various other institutions, but the one advantage of being able to combine with St. Luke’s is it gives them additional revenue. Because St. Luke’s is going to be primarily a patient population where the patients have private insurance.  And the highest revenues in healthcare today come from patients who are privately insured.”

This year St. Luke’s was acquired by Catholic Health Initiatives, a large chain based in Denver.

Ho says striking a deal with a local medical school will help Catholic Health Initiatives with marketing and prestige in Houston:

“Many patients are going to be attracted to St. Luke’s because they are going to be able to advertise that they have the Baylor doctors practicing there, and Baylor has a long history and tradition of fantastic doctors and it’s one of the top 20 medical schools in the country.”

The partnership deal is expected to be announced in January. 

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