SCL Health seeks proposals for St. Francis Health in Topeka, Kan.

June 15, 2016

Broomfield, Colo.-based SCL Health said May 26 that it is seeking proposals from health care providers to assume responsibility for Catholic nonprofit St. Francis Health, a 378-bed tertiary care hospital in Topeka, Kan.

St. Francis is one of two Topeka hospitals that provide comprehensive care. (The other is Stormont Vail Health.) St. Francis employs a medical group of more than 70 primary and specialty care providers.

Michael Slubowski, SCL Health president and chief executive, said in a statement that the hospital is one of the region's most affordable, quality providers. "Yet, for some years, St. Francis has been challenged to strengthen and expand its healing ministry at a time when health reform is requiring all hospitals to rethink how to provide care most effectively and efficiently." Kansas has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Christine Woolsey, a spokesperson for SCL Health, said the hospital has faced challenges for a few years, in part due to market demographics, such as slow population growth in the Topeka region. She said the hospital has seen some financial improvement, but the medical group financial performance is still in need of improvement.

SCL Health and St. Francis have been evaluating a number of strategic scenarios, including collaborative arrangements with local providers and insurers, but they said consensus couldn't be reached on those 2015 discussions.

SCL Health has engaged Citi, which is Citigroup, the investment banking and financial services corporation, to collect proposals. Woolsey said a transformation advisory group, with representatives from SCL Health and St. Francis, will evaluate the proposals.

St. Francis was founded in 1909 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. SCL Health and St. Francis said in a statement they seek proposals that fulfill the health care needs of the community; that provide charity care services to meet community needs; and that invest in capital projects and information technology needs.

Marian Dental Clinic, which provides oral health care to underserved populations, and St. Francis Health Foundation, which supports community health needs, will continue their work, according to a news release.


Copyright © 2016 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2016 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

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