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UMMC increasing ties with Rochester General, but no plans for formal partnership or merger

UMMC has long partnered with Rochester General Hospital on patient care, and the two hospitals are exploring ways to work together more closely, according to hospital spokeswoman Colleen Flynn.

But, she said, contrary to a rumor reportedly circulating among staff, there are no merger discussions taking place.

There aren't even immediate plans to form a formal partnership, known as a ACO (accountable care organization) under the Affordable Healthcare Act.

RGH has long helped UMMC recruit doctors and provide patients with specialized care, and the two hospitals are looking into ways to share those services even more, but that's as far as the talks are going, Flynn said.

An ACO, according to Wikipedia, is a coordinated group of heath care providers who commit to standards of quality care in order to reduce the total cost of health care and reimbursements.

UMMC is always looking for ways to improve patient care and provide more specialized care, Flynn said.

"We're an independent community hospital and we're going to be an independent community hospital," Flynn said. "We look for larger organizations to partner with because we're small."

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