Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., which operates the largest hospital network in Houston, will consolidate services by selling 198-bed Heights Hospital and merging its operations into two nearby facilities.
"One of Columbia's strengths is to reduce duplicative services," said Jay Grinney, president of the company's Southwest division. Columbia/HCA, a Louisville, Ky.-based chain of 196 hospitals, will sell Heights to American Transitional Hospitals, a Franklin, Tenn.-based company specializing in long-term care for chronically ill patients.
Columbia/HCA will consolidate services into Spring Branch Memorial Hospital and Bellaire General Hospital, Mr. Grinney said. Many of Heights' physicians also were on the medical staff of Spring Branch, he said. American Transitional already leases one floor of Spring Branch for its specialty services.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it's expected to be completed by Aug. 1.
In a related development, Columbia/HCA met with about 300 physicians June 17 to provide information about syndicating that market. Columbia/HCA has syndicated other markets in Texas and Florida, typically selling 20% of the network to area physicians.
Mr. Grinney said he hopes to complete the syndication by the end of July.
The network to be syndicated includes Columbia/HCA's eight Houston metropolitan area hospitals, a residential treatment center, four outpatient centers and six surgery centers operated by Medical Care America. Dallas-based Medical Care, the nation's largest outpatient surgery chain, is merging with Columbia/HCA.
Other facilities that are planned for the network include a new orthopedic hospital that will open in early 1995 and four outpatient surgery/imaging centers being developed by Columbia/HCA and Medical Care.