Methodist Healthcare System to acquire 9th hospital

Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg, Texas, has entered into an agreement to become part of San Antionio-based Methodist Healthcare System, according to the Fredericksburg Standard Radio-Post.

The hospital's board unanimously selected Methodist Healthcare, which it believes will allow it "to grow and to thrive" in the community, CEO Jayne Pope told the Radio-Post.

With about 600 team members and 226 medical staff, Hill Country Memorial is the largest employer in Gillespie County. It offers key service lines such as joint replacement and interventional cardiology. 

The reduction in inter-governmental funding, such as Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, is an area where larger institutions have an advantage over smaller, independent hospitals, according to Ms. Pope, who believes Methodist Healthcare, as a larger institution, will be able to support Hill Country Memorial in that regard and with many of its other challenges.

"We have far less negotiating power with the big payers," Ms. Pope told the publication. "The board looked at those reimbursements, dealing with private insurance, increased competition, as well as things like being able to recruit staff. We also saw a huge increase in the cost of supplies after COVID, and larger institutions are able to negotiate better for those."

Methodist Healthcare is a 50-50 co-ownership between Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare and Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, a private, faith-based, nonprofit organization.

Hill Country Memorial has 15 locations across a 14-county region, including a hospital, an urgent care clinic, and primary and specialty care offices, according to the report. It also serves the region with home care, hospice and other post-acute services. Methodist Healthcare has more than 30 facilities, including eight hospitals and nine freestanding emergency departments.

The transaction is expected to be completed in early 2023.

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