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Hazelden, Betty Ford Clinic pursuing potential collaboration

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Minnesota's Hazelden Foundation and California's Betty Ford Clinic, two of the country's largest addiction treatment centers, plan to join forces, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

The Pioneer Press says officials at both institutions have been exploring the concept of a formal alliance for weeks, but what exactly the partnership will mean remains unclear.

The anticipated 40 million additional Americans who would receive coverage under the new federal health care law is the main reason for the discussions.

"The good news is that many more Americans who desperately need help will be eligible to receive quality treatment for their addiction to alcohol or other drugs," Hazelden's Board of Trustees Chair Susan Fox Gillis said in a news release from both institutions. "The challenge will be to pay for that expanded coverage and service. At this stage it appears that institutionally, only the strong will survive and thrive. Both Betty Ford and Hazelden are recognized as industry leaders, but the fact is we'd be even stronger if we collaborated on a formal basis."

The Los Angeles Times notes the planned retirement of the Betty Ford Center's longtime CEO early next year could clear the way for Hazelden, based in Center City, Minn., to take over the facility's operations.

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