Sisters of Charity Health Care System has signed a letter of intent with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. to purchase two of Columbia's hospitals in southeast Texas: Beaumont Medical and Surgical Hospital in Beaumont and Silsbee Doctors Hospital in Silsbee.
Beaumont has 364 staffed beds and Silsbee has 59. The hospitals are part of Columbia's Pacific Group, one of three groups of hospitals to be spun off from the Nashville-based chain into separate companies. In effect, these two hospitals are being broken out of the spinoff before the Pacific Group becomes independent.
Nicholas Marzocco, president of the Pacific Group's east division, said the move makes more prudent use of resources and benefits patients and the local community.
Beaumont earned $3.7 million on operations in 1996. Silsbee Doctors lost $1.5 million that year.
Terms were not disclosed.
Houston-based Sisters of Charity already operates three hospitals and 12 outpatient clinics in southeast Texas. Sisters of Charity includes 15 hospitals, four long-term-care homes, seven long-term acute-care hospitals and other facilities. It operates in Arkansas, Ireland, Louisiana, Texas and Utah.
The Roman Catholic, not-for-profit system is progressing on its proposed merger with Incarnate Word Health System, based in San Antonio, which is sponsored by another congregation of Catholic sisters. That merger is expected to be completed early next year.
Michael Pruitt, development officer for the Sisters of Charity, said the parties have a contingent letter of intent and are working through due diligence.
The Sisters of Charity board must approve the purchase, after which the two sides will seek federal antitrust clearance. They hope to close the deal by year-end.