Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Deaconess Incarnate Word for Sale

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Deaconess Incarnate Word for Sale

Article excerpt

There are no plans to eliminate jobs or close facilities here.

Deaconess Incarnate Word Health System said Friday that it is negotiating to sell its three hospitals and 125 physician practices to Tenet HealthSystem of California.

Tenet, a for-profit company, said it doesn't plan to eliminate jobs here or close any Deaconess Incarnate Word facilities. The deal also would include two retirement homes and other properties owned by Deaconess Incarnate Word. Unity Health System, a St. Louis-based not-for-profit company, had negotiated to buy Deaconess Incarnate Word for more than a year. Those talks broke off before Christmas. Unity owns five area hospitals, including St. Anthony's Medical Center and St. John's Mercy Medical Center. Ronald B. Ashworth, president and chief executive of Unity, said the health systems could not resolve differences over contracts with the physicians employed by Deaconess Incarnate Word. Most of those doctors work for the St. Louis Medical Group. Both hospital systems own medical practices. Among other things, Unity wanted its no-compete language inserted into the contracts of physicians employed by Deaconess Incarnate Word. Tenet is the nation's second-largest investor-owned hospital company. It has 75 hospitals, will acquire four more by May 31 and is seeking shareholder approval to buy OrNda Health Corp., which would bring 52 more hospitals. Jeff Villwock, a health-care analyst with Johnson Rice, estimates Tenet's annual revenue at $6 billion. OrNda would add $2 billion to that. Deaconess Incarnate Word's three hospitals are Deaconess Medical Center, Deaconess Medical Center West Campus and Incarnate Word Hospital. The system had operating revenue of $273 million last year. Chairman H.C. Milford said the system has a 7.5 percent share of the St. Louis market. Tenet already owns Lutheran Medical Center in St. …

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