At least one Catholic healthcare system is letting it be known that investor-owned chains aren't the only option for not-for-profit hospitals.
Officials of Bon Secours Health System of Marriottsville, Md., told MODERN HEALTHCARE last week that Catholic providers that deal with investor-owned chains aren't holding true to their missions. Thus, the Catholic system is aggressively seeking to partner with or purchase Catholic hospitals.
"If people want to try to build a community-based network that's trying to meet the social good of healthcare, they should remain not-for-profit," said John Shea, vice president of business development at Bon Secours. "It isn't just that Catholic hospitals should be thinking they are going to fund their pastoral budgets through these deals. That's not what Catholic healthcare is all about."
Bon Secours attempted to bid on Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine Health System but entered the bidding several weeks after Tenet Healthcare Corp. and the apparent winning bidder, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.
Bucking a major trend, Bon Secours officials also said they are making efforts to acquire some investor-owned hospitals and convert them to not-for-profits. Shea wouldn't provide details of those negotiations.
Bon Secours has commissioned New York-based Lehman Brothers, an investment banking firm, to attract Catholic hospitals to its system. The firm ran a quarter-page ad in the May 15 issue of MODERN HEALTHCARE seeking "acquisitions of hospitals, home healthcare companies and related facilities."
With more than $820 million in net assets, Bon Secours owns seven hospitals. In 1994, the system reported net income of $27 million on net revenues of $580.7 million, according to MODERN HEALTHCARE's 1995 Multi-unit Providers Survey.
"We like the hospital business, and we think we can have an impact on healthcare while expanding and further developing Catholic healthcare," Shea said.