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BOSTON-Beth Israel Deacones Medical Center has underutilized space at its Needham facility. New England Baptist Hospital is looking to expand. Now, the two hospitals will sit down to discuss how to renovate and expand Beth Israel’s Needham campus to accommodate New England Baptist’s needs.

“We’re looking to see if there’s a way to meet some of the Baptist needs in terms of operating rooms for orthopedic surgery,” a spokesman for Beth Israel tells GlobeSt.com. He says it is unclear how much space Baptist is looking to expand into at Beth Israel’s Needham campus.

Negotiations between the two hospitals come less than six months after Beth Israel and Tufts New England Medical Center announced that they would join forces to develop what could be a $300-million hospital in Boston’s suburbs.

A spokeswoman for Tufts tells GlobeSt.com that Baptist’s decision will not impact plans to build the suburban facility, which is currently in the site selection phase.

“The deal is not off for us. We’re steady at the helm and moving ahead,” says the spokeswoman. “Having Baptist as a partner was always great but it wasn’t essential to our plans. We have full intentions to bring full healthcare to the suburbs.”

She says hospital officials have narrowed down the selection process to three suburban sites and will select where to build the new facility within the next few months.

The Tufts spokeswoman says Baptist officials have signed a six-month exclusivity deal with Beth Israel to discuss the potential expansion and have deferred further negotiations with Tufts until a decision on that space is reached.

New England Baptist officials could not be reached for comment by GlobeSt.com’s deadline.

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