Update, 4:10 p.m.:

The boards of both Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare have signed a letter of intent to merge the two organizations, creating a $7.7 billion health network called Baylor Scott & White Health.

"This is two strong partners coming together to truly create a new model of health care delivery that really focuses on the patient, on population health management," said Baylor CEO Joel Allison, who will head the new merged system. Dr. Robert Pryor, president and CEO of Scott & White, will be the president and chief operating officer of the new organization.  

Combined, Baylor and Scott & White will oversee 42 hospitals, more than 350 other patient care settings and 34,000 employees, creating what they call the "largest not-for-profit health system in Texas, and one of the largest in the United States." 

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The merged organization will be overseen by a board equally represented by members from Baylor and from Scott & White. 

Original story:   

The Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare will announce Friday afternoon that they are joining forces to become "the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas." 

The Waco Tribune-Herald reported in March that there were serious negotiations in the works between Dallas-based Baylor and Temple-based Scott & White, but both systems have been mum in recent months.

The $5.2 billion Baylor Health Care System owns or operates 30 hospitals statewide and employs nearly 20,000 people. It has 2.8 million patient encounters annually, according to its website.

The Scott & White system, with employs 12,000 people, has 12 hospitals and more than 65 clinics across a 29,000-square-mile service area in Central Texas. 

Officials from both systems will announce the details of the partnership at 4 p.m. 

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