Florida Blood Services, Tampa Bay's blood bank, merging with two others in state
Wake up and good morning. Three major blood services in Florida look like they are going to merge. Florida Blood Services, based in St. Petersburg (photo, left) and serving Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Manatee counties among other areas, is planning to merge with Community Blood Centers of Florida, covering several southeast Florida counties, and Florida’s Blood Centers, based in Orlando, which covers regional Orlando and surrounding counties. Combined, the three get about 1 million blood donations a year, making it the largest blood bank in Florida and one of the top three in the nation.
If the merger proceeds, a territory of service would include the Tampa Bay area, Southeast Florida, the Orlando Metro area and environs, Pensacola and Tallahassee and also some parts of Southern Georgia and Alabama. The three entities currently serve more than 200 hospitals and other health facilities and employ approximately 2700. Here's the news release and additional details here.
As the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports here, some hospital officials worried privately that a monopoly blood bank might raise prices. But for patients with rare blood types, the merger would lessen the chance a hospital would run short.
Listen to Florida Blood Services chairman Chris Stiles talk about the merger here.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist