Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is in talks to build an outpost in San Antonio, Texas, in partnership with publicly traded Vanguard Health Systems Inc., a Tennessee company that owns the Baptist Health System in that city.

Children's spokesman George V. Bochanski Jr. confirmed the discussions Monday.

"We think it presents a good opportunity as part of the long-term planning at CHOP to expand our services," Bochanski said. He declined to provide details because talks were continuing.

Children's and Vanguard Health are expected within 60 days to complete a formal proposal for University Health System and the University of Texas Health Science Center, a hospital and medical school in San Antonio that for years have been exploring options for creating a comprehensive children's health-care network for that metropolitan area.

The discussions became public last week, when Children's and Vanguard sent a letter Wednesday to the presidents of the University Health System and the University of Texas Health Science Center, the San Antonio Express-Times reported.

On Friday, Christus Santa Rosa Health System announced a competing proposal for Children's Hospital of San Antonio on its downtown campus.

Since the 1990s, Children's of Philadelphia has expanded dramatically through a network of primary- and specialty-care centers, as well as surgery and cardiac-care facilities, in Southeastern Pennsylvania and in New Jersey as far away as New Brunswick and Cape May County.

Is the next stop for Children's — which in the year ended June 30 had operating income of $71 million on revenue of $1.83 billion — halfway across the country in San Antonio?

"I can tell you it's something we would like to see happen," Bochanski said. "We think the people of San Antonio could benefit from our expertise."

Contact Harold Brubaker at 215-854-4651 or hbrubaker@phillynews.com