Mercy Health System Oklahoma agreed to sell one of its three hospitals to a for-profit company last week, while rival Integris Health announced it's building a new hospital.
Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa., agreed to buy St. Mary's Mercy Hospital, a 137-bed Roman Catholic facility in Enid, Okla. The purchase price and other terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close July 1 and will convert the facility to a for-profit.
Mercy Health Oklahoma, part of Sisters of Mercy Health System-St. Louis, also includes 304-bed Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City and 199-bed Mercy Memorial Health Center in Ardmore.
Judy Akins, director of corporate communications for Mercy Health System Oklahoma, said she could not comment on why the system is selling the hospital. Mercy executives in Oklahoma and St. Louis could not be reached for comment late last week.
Akins declined to disclose the hospital's financial results.
Mike Mastej, director of development for Universal, said the hospital has been profitable, with net income of at least $7 million on net patient revenue of about $50 million for the fiscal year ended in June 1999.
In Oklahoma, Universal owns outpatient surgery centers in Ponca City and Midwest City and the Renaissance Women's Center of Edmond (Okla.), an outpatient facility. The St. Mary's Mercy deal will give Universal 21 hospitals in nine states and Puerto Rico, Mastej said.
Universal responded last fall to a request for proposals to purchase the hospital, Mastej said. He called St. Mary's Mercy the "provider of choice" in Enid. "We see a lot of opportunity with St. Mary's," Mastej added. "The community is beginning to grow, and it's a two-hospital community, so it's not inundated with beds." Enid has about 46,000 residents.
Enid's other hospital, 207-bed Integris Bass Baptist Health Center, is part of Oklahoma City-based not-for-profit Integris Health, which announced it will build a $30 million 40-bed hospital in Yukon, a few miles west of Oklahoma City. The campus will include a medical office building and an ambulatory-care center.
Integris spokesman Damon Gardenhire said the new Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital has an expected completion date of August 2001. He said financing options are being explored.
George Dashner, administrator of the Integris Clinton (Okla.) Regional Hospital, will be administrator of the new hospital.
Integris owns, leases or manages 15 hospitals, all in Oklahoma.
Integris Bass Baptist and St. Mary's Mercy canceled plans for a $12 million joint-venture women's hospital last year amid controversy over the decision that the facility would not perform tubal ligations in accordance with Roman Catholic policy (March 15, 1999, p. 24).
Mastej said he does not believe the project will be revived. He said any decision to add services at St. Mary's Mercy would be made by a local hospital board and physicians.
"There's really not a large enough market there for an exclusive women's facility," he said.