Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Mishawaka, Ind., announced the system sold part of the 63-bed hospital formerly called Heartland Memorial Hospital, Munster, Ind., to a group of physicians for $5.2 million. The 85 physicians as of Nov. 1 purchased 23% of the operations and 13% of the real estate of what will be operated as a joint venture called Franciscan Physicians Hospital.
Sisters of St. Francis Health Services is open to having physician ownership grow to 49% as long as federal rules allow it, according to Barbara Greene, president of Franciscan Physicians. Sisters of St. Francis, which operates 13 acute-care hospitals in Indiana and Illinois, bought the capital assets from a holding company in October 2006 for about $45 million. And then in April, Sisters of St. Francis paid $3 million for the operations at a bankruptcy auction, said Gene Diamond, chief executive officer of the Northern Indiana region for the system. Munster is home to not-for-profit 382-bed Community Hospital, part of three-hospital Community Healthcare System, while Sisters of St. Francis operate St. Margaret Mercy, with campuses in nearby Hammond and Dyer, Ind. -- by Gregg Blesch