Catholic Health Initiatives, Denver, is in negotiations to acquire a physician-owned heart hospital and cardiac medical practice in Lincoln, Neb., where CHI already owns an acute-care hospital.
Catholic Health set to acquire heart hospital
The Nebraska Heart Hospital would have to follow Roman Catholic ethics after the acquisition, a CHI spokeswoman said. The change to not-for-profit status also apparently would allow the cardiac facility to expand, officials said.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prohibited physician-owned hospitals from expanding, although a federal district court judge in East Texas is expected to rule on the constitutionality of that provision in coming weeks.
In Lincoln, officials with the Nebraska Heart Hospital and its physician practice, the Nebraska Heart Institute, have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to merge with CHI that gives both sides 90 days to negotiate a definitive agreement spelling out terms such as purchase price.
Tom Burnell, CEO of the heart hospital, said in a news release that the ownership change will not affect the services available to patients. CHI and the hospital have partnered on care for the past 30 years, the news release said. CHI already owns 257-bed St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln.
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