The two hospital systems, Morton Plant Health System Inc. and Mease Hospital, are the two largest hospitals in the St. Petersburg area. Under the terms of the settlement, the hospitals may form a joint venture to provide services for which there are numerous competitors or for which patients might seek attention outside the geographic area, including open-heart surgery, non-acute outpatient treatment and neonatal services. The joint venture will manage the services and will provide them to each hospital at cost. The hospitals will then individually market the services, and will compete with one another on price. The hospitals are also permitted to merge procurement and certain other administrative services, accounting, billing and collections and medical records. The hospitals will maintain separate boards of trustees and executive management, but members of the separate boards may serve on the board of the joint venture.