Minnesota-based Hazelden Foundation and the Betty Ford Center announced Tuesday they are pursuing a formal alliance.
The famed drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers are not specifying what the alliance will mean. The boards of both institutions have approved in principle the alliance concept.
Hazelden's Board of Trustees Chair Susan Fox Gillis said the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act next year is the main reason for the move.
"The good news is that many more Americans who desperately need help will be eligible to receive quality treatment for their addiction to alcohol or other drugs," Gillis said in a statement from both institutions.
"The challenge will be to pay for that expanded coverage and service. At this stage it appears that institutionally, only the strong will survive and thrive."
Betty Ford Center Board of Directors Chair Dr. Mary Pattiz said founders, including First Lady Betty Ford, looked to Hazelden as the model at the California institution's founding in 1982.
"It was and is our inspiration, and for more than 30 years we've worked side by side as philosophical partners in providing quality care to alcoholics, addicts, and their families," Pattiz said in the statement.
Hazelden was founded in 1949. In addition to Minnesota, it has facilities in Illinois, New York, Florida and Oregon.