SCL health system to sell two Kansas hospitals to Prime

February 15, 2013

Denver's Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System has reached an agreement to sell two of its Kansas hospitals to Prime Healthcare Services of Ontario, Calif., a private, for-profit system.

According to a press release, SCL's board and its sponsor Leaven Ministries determined that the current operating model for the two facilities, Providence Medical Center of Kansas City and Saint John Hospital of Leavenworth, was unsustainable, given "the challenging economics of today's health care environment."

Also included in the sale will be a long-term care facility and physician practices.

Over the next five years, Prime has agreed to invest at least $10 million in the campuses. The buyer also said it will maintain acute care and emergency department services at both campuses for at least five years. Prime also has agreed to maintain charity care outlays at current levels. It will offer jobs to virtually all current employees of the hospitals.

With the deal's completion — expected in the spring — neither SCL nor its sponsor Leaven Ministries will have a role with the hospitals. But, plans call for two clinics and a foundation affiliated with the hospitals to remain part of SCL. SCL operates 11 hospitals and additional health care facilities in California, Colorado, Kansas and Montana.

According to Sr. Charlotte White, SCL, who serves on the Leaven Ministries sponsor organization, the facilities will convert to for-profit status upon the deal's completion. They no longer will be Catholic, she said, but they will offer spiritual care, and there will be a mission leader on the hospitals' leadership team. She said Prime has agreed that the facilities will not provide direct abortions.

As Catholic Health World went to press, SCL and Prime were not disclosing additional terms of the agreement, including potential purchase price.

Prime and its subsidiaries currently operate 21 hospitals in four states. Prime includes 16 for-profit hospitals; and Prime's nonprofit Prime Healthcare Foundation includes five nonprofit hospitals.

One Prime facility, Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center of Reno, Nev., formerly was a Catholic hospital that was part of San Francisco-based Dignity Health. When Prime acquired Saint Mary's it agreed to keep the Saint Mary's name.

Prime has signed an agreement to purchase the stand-alone St. Mary's Hospital of Passaic, N.J., and is in negotiations to purchase Catholic Health East's Saint Michael's Medical Center of Newark, N.J. If the deals go through, Prime plans to maintain these facilities' names and operate them according to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, according to a Prime spokesman.


Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.