The City Council of Austin, Texas, was set to vote late last week on whether to turn over operation of Brackenridge Hospital to the Daughters of Charity National Health System.
The Roman Catholic system already owns four hospitals in Texas, including 532-bed Seton Medical Center in Austin.
Brackenridge's operational future has been limbo for more than a year since the public hospital last year reported a $20 million shortfall because of accounting errors (April 11, 1994, p. 22). Several officials resigned, including the hospital's administrator, Deborah Lee-Eddie.
In May 1994 the Hunter Group, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based consulting firm, was hired to provide interim management services.
A proposal by the Daughters to lease the hospital would have to receive antitrust approval, said David Coats, the hospital's current chief executive officer.
If approved, the transaction may lead to a "more rational distribution of services" between Brackenridge and Seton, Coats said.