Healthcare Business News

Christus sells continuing-care community to for-profit chain

By Paul Barr
Posted: January 23, 2011 - 12:01 am ET

The for-profit Ensign Group, Mission Viejo, Calif., has agreed to purchase Christus St. Joseph Villa, a continuing-care community in Salt Lake City, from not-for-profit Christus Health, Irving, Texas, for an undisclosed amount.

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The purchase includes Christus Marian Center, a long-term inpatient psychiatric facility operated within the community, according to an Ensign news release.

Matt Church, an Ensign operational leader, will head the facility, which has 221 skilled-nursing beds, 60 independent-living apartments, 48 assisted-living units and 12 psychiatric beds, the release states. The facility will be operated by Ensign's Utah-based subsidiary, Milestone Healthcare, which has nine other subsidiaries in Utah and Idaho, according to Ensign.

Christus decided to sell the facility in part because it is Christus' only Utah facility, making it difficult to coordinate care under the goals of health reform, said Christus spokeswoman Abby Lowe. The system also had unsuccessfully sought local zoning changes to expand the facility, which also played a role, Lowe said. Christus has no plans to sell its two other continuing-care facilities in Texas and Louisiana, she said.

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