The citizens of Bossier City, La., voted overwhelmingly on May 1 to sell their city-owned hospital, 168-bed Bossier Medical Center, to Dallas-based Christus Health for about $28 million.
The sale hinged on the binding referendum. The final vote was almost
9 to 1 for the sale.
With the acquisition of another area hospital pending, the 29-hospital Roman Catholic Christus system plans to have a three-hospital hub in northern Louisiana by mid-summer.
Bossier City, a fast-growing Shreveport suburb, will receive $17.9 million in cash for the hospital and will retain rights to approximately $10 million in accounts receivable. The deal is expected to close July 1.
The city put its hospital on the selling block after a $5.2 million loss last year, caused in part by overgenerous contracts with a handful of employed physicians (April 26, p. 2).
Christus has also signed a letter of intent to buy 158-bed Highland Hospital in Shreveport from Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. for an undisclosed sum. That deal should close by May 31.
The pair of acquisitions will bring Christus' Shreveport area holdings to three hospitals, including 486-bed Christus Schumpert Health System in Shreveport.
A Schumpert spokeswoman said Christus had no plans to consolidate services at the three hospitals and "is committed to maintaining both (acquired) facilities as full-service, acute-care hospitals."
The hospital will no longer perform tubal ligations once the city cedes control to the Catholics. But Bossier residents were less interested in saving those services than in saving the hospital as a whole, according to City Council member David Jones.
"It was apparent to everybody that the stand-alone hospital wasn't going to survive. It was a vote to keep the competition in this market," he said.
Bossier's other hospital, WK Bossier Medical Center, opened in 1996 by Shreveport-based Willis-Knighton Health System, is planning to more than double its capacity to 218 beds by next year.