Officials announced Tuesday that an asset purchase agreement had been reached between SCL Health System and Prime Healthcare Services, paving the way for an eventual sale of Saint John Hospital in Leavenworth and Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.
According to Cheston Turbyfill, SCL Health System spokesman, that sale is expected to be finalized in the spring, and information regarding it were not disclosed with Tuesday’s announcement. He said some about the commitments made by Prime Healthcare in the agreement were available, however.
“The takeaway, the thing that’s important for the community, is that Saint John will remain open as an acute care facility for at least five years,” he said, a condition that applies to Providence as well.
Prime Healthcare has also agreed to maintain current levels of charity care, provide at least $10 million toward capital and other investment projects over the next five years and offer employment to “substantially” all employees, according to a release accompanying the announcement.
“We don’t anticipate any, we don’t foresee any staff reductions,” as an immediate result of the sale, Turbyfill said.
The deal is aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability of the SCL Health System. According to the release, over the last decade SCL Health System has invested $96 million in capital investments at the two sites, in addition to contributing $212 million for charity care and an additional $215 million in what were called “bad debt expenses” during that same period. That operational model was seen as unsustainable.
“We are appreciative of the wonderful legacy the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth leave these hospitals and our communities,” said Michael Parra, board member for Providence Medical Center and Saint John Hospital. “Yet, now is the time to embrace a new direction and Prime Healthcare Services has a strong reputation for quality, excellence and growth.”
Under the agreement, medical office buildings and certain joint ventures under the SCL Health System banner will transition to Prime Healthcare Services. Management of the Saint Vincent Clinic in Leavenworth as well as its sister clinic, Duchesne in Kansas City, Kan., and the Providence Saint John Foundation, will remain with SCL Health System and continue to serve the uninsured in those communities.
Because the sale is not finalized, Turbyfill said there were not a lot of details available publicly about potential changes to the organization. But officials asserted that the transition will not affect patient care.
“Prime Healthcare intends to reaffirm these hospitals as top providers of quality health care in the state and country,” said Prem Reddy, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Prime Healthcare Services. “We understand how important these acute care facilities are to the people in Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties and intend to ensure they remain in vital service to these communities for years to come.”