Dartmouth-Hitchcock health care system has been discussing a potential affiliation deal with Elliot Health System, a smaller provider serving southern New Hampshire.
The Valley News reports D-H executive vice president Stephen LeBlanc confirmed that the discussions were underway, but he declined to say what form the affiliation might take.
In past affiliation deals, D-H has become the "sole corporate member" of its partners and held final say over their finances, strategy and composition of their governing board and management.
Greg Baxter, Elliot's chief medical officer, says an affiliation with D-H would present "an exceptional opportunity that will enable Elliot to address some of the most critical issues facing our state."
If a deal is struck, almost 300 beds and a visiting nurse operation would be added to D-H's network.