COLUMBIA, Mo. -

Leaders of the M-U Health Care System said the experiences and outcomes of patients needs to be better, all while reducing costs that benefit the community.

They said in the face of healthcare reform across the country, they need to work together to ensure patients get adequate care.

There are five founding members in the healthcare system:  Bothwell Center in Sedalia, Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Lake Regional Health System in Osage beach and University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia.

If a doctor in Columbia loses his job to budget cuts, the health care system wants to ensure a patient can go somewhere else in the network to recieve the same care.

"I think the network is going to allow us to work together and pool our resources and our energies, by getting our doctors and our hospital members to make a much bigger impact on the hospital," said CEO of Capital Region, Ed Farnsworth.

This allows the system to be more efficient and allows doctors to focus on the quality care for the patients.

University of Missouri leaders said each organization will still remain independent, but will be able to share ideas with the other organizations.

Chancellor of M-U Health Care, Hal Williamson said, "We decided, each organization decided that we couldn't do that alone.  We couldn't understand it well enough and we couldn't really bring the scale and the scope and expertise enough on our own."

Williamson said, "The Health Care System is interested in others joining their system, but the five founding members would have to approve it first.