Houston's oldest hospices, the Hospice at Texas Medical Center and Houston Hospice, are negotiating to merge and expect to sign a letter of intent by week's end, a spokeswoman for the TMC hospice said. "The merger has been in discussion for years, and it looks like it will go through," she said. The new not-for-profit organization would be Houston's largest hospice with roughly 4,000 patients annually. Both hospices were founded in the early 1980s. Smaller hospices, particularly not-for-profits, are facing mergers or acquisitions by chains, such as Odyssey Healthcare, Dallas, and VistaCare, Scottsdale, Ariz., said Larry Farrow, executive director of the Texas and New Mexico Hospice Organization. "We've got two or three major corporations that are going into hospice in the area but still have a large percentage of freestanding hospices," Farrow said. "We may see, overtime, people wanting to sell to the larger for-profit groups." -- by Julie Piotrowski
Houston hospices near merger agreement
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