Essent to buy system
* Essent Healthcare, Nashville, said last week it would purchase two-hospital Christus St. Joseph's Health System, Paris, Texas, from Christus Health, Irving, Texas, for undisclosed terms. Christus formed the Roman Catholic system in 2001 by buying the only competitor to its 200-bed Christus St. Joseph's Hospital. In a June announcement of its decision to sell, Christus said physician and community resistance to consolidating services had hampered efforts to repair the hospitals' finances. The Paris system lost $12.4 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2003, Christus said. Essent and Christus expect to complete the sale by Dec. 1, pending regulatory approvals.
N.J. hospital to transform
* Rahway (N.J.) Hospital will join Robert Wood Johnson Health Care Corp., New Brunswick, N.J., and become Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Rahway, under an agreement approved in state Superior Court earlier this month. The agreement, which becomes official Oct. 7, will give the system three hospitals, including its flagship 473-bed Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. A local board will continue to oversee day-to-day operations of the 140-bed Rahway hospital, but the Robert Wood Johnson system will have the authority to set budgets and approve the appointment of the hospital's chief executive officer.
Indiana facility in works
* Arnett Clinic, Lafayette, Ind., said earlier this month that it is planning to build a $100 million, 150-bed for-profit hospital after a merger agreement last month between the town's only acute-care hospitals, Home Hospital and St. Elizabeth Medical Center. The Sisters of St. Francis Health Services owns the hospitals, after buying out North Central Health Services for $130 million.