The executive board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas voted today to support the sale of five-hospital Baptist Health System, San Antonio, to Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville.
The sale would convert Baptist Health System to a for-profit. The sale still must be approved on the floor of the Baptist General Convention at its annual meeting in November, Vanguard spokesman Trip Pilgrim said.
Last week, the convention's Human Welfare Coordinating Board voted to recommend the sale to the executive board, according to news reports. Some convention members resisted the sale, instead favoring a proposal from VHA-backed Community Health Corp., Addison, Texas, that would have kept the system as a not-for-profit by bringing it under the management of Valley Baptist Health System, Harlingen, Texas.
Pilgrim said Vanguard and Baptist expect to negotiate a definitive agreement by November, and the deal could close by year-end. "The vote today I think gives us a good indication that the process is moving the way we, meaning Baptist Health System and Vanguard, had hoped," Pilgrim said.
He said approval by the convention is "a process we've always known was going to have to be navigated."
Officials of the convention and Baptist Health System could not be reached for comment this afternoon.
Baptist Health System also received and rejected an offer by Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., and Christus Health, Irving, Texas, which wanted to run the system as a joint venture.