HCA Midwest may soon be the new owner of Carondelet Health, which runs St. Joseph and St. Mary’s Hospitals. The two groups have announced they’re in negotiations for a merger.
In June, Carondelet said it had wanted to find a buyer for its two hospitals - St. Joseph in South Kansas City and St. Mary’s in Blue Springs. The hospitals are the 10th and 19th largest in the region. Carondelet said they needed to find a way to stay competitive and grow, especially amid changes happening the federal health law. That includes how hospitals are paid and new requirements for things like electronic medical record systems.
Susan Kaufmann, a spokesperson with HCA, says negotiations are in the early stages.
“We don’t have a completion date for these discussions and we believe that a merger of Carondelet Health and HCA Midwest health system could ensure long term success for both organizations.”
Lara Vermillion is president of Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce. She says the hospital’s central to the area.
“It’s a huge employer in community and great community partner, so we’re anxious to see what will happen now.”
Local business leader Bill Essman is on the board of St. Mary’s foundation and says there’s some concern a sale could put the hospital at risk of closing. That’s caused hundreds of residents to rally around the hospital through social media networks and other local forums.
“We just want HCA to know what great support that hospital has in blue springs. We want them to know it’s important to the community that the community has been well served by that hospital,” says Essman.
St. Mary’s and St. Joseph are part of a non-profit Catholic health system. HCA is a for profit health system that runs 10 hospitals in the Kansas City area.
Essman says he and others are eager to connect with HCA, and figure out how they’ll be able to continue the hospital’s mission of providing care to people in need. A spokesperson from Carondelet says HCA has committed to continuing the hospitals’ Catholic heritage.
This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes KCUR , NPR and Kaiser Health News.
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