CHI St. Joseph Health’s acquisition of the College Station Medical Center increases the locations and providers that are a part of the Texas A&M Health Network.
The agreement to make CSMC was signed by CHI St. Joseph Health and Subsidiaries of Community Health Systems Inc. on May 23. The 167-bed facility and Level III trauma center is now called CHI St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital, and signs have been updated to reflect the change.
The acquisition took effect Aug. 1 and includes physicians clinics such as College Station MedPlus locations and the College Station Medical Associates. CSMC will share the CHI St. Joseph mission and become a non-profit Catholic hospital. The organization also joined with Dignity Health to create CommonSpirit Health — a nonprofit national health system.
President and chief executive officer of CHI St. Joseph Health, Theron Park, said that six weeks into the acquisition, the focus is on bringing the organizations together and operating them similarly.
“As a part of the acquisition, College Station Medical center will become part of CHI St. Joseph Health,” Park said. “They will become part of our faith-based network of hospitals and clinics, and so everybody will have the same policies whether it relates to insurance coverage or charity care across the entire region.”
Park said the acquisition will continue to improve the relationship with A&M’s health network, enhancing training opportunities for students and expanding care for employees.
“We’ve had a long standing relationship for about 25 years with the health science center, and St. Joseph Health is the primary training site for medical students and nursing students in the Brazos Valley,” Park said. “We’ll be able to offer additional training sites for medical students and nursing students, but secondly the Texas A&M employees will now have additional points of access for healthcare in College Station at the new CHI St. Joseph College Station hospital and their associated clinics.”
The Medplus clinics that are close to students on campus are also part of the acquisition, Park said.
“One of the locations is the Northgate clinic, and you’ll see that clinic will now become CHI St. Joseph Medical group clinic, also in partnership with Texas A&M,” Park said.
Dr. David Washburn, assistant professor in health policy and management, said the acquisition should prove highly beneficial for the community.
“CHI St. Joseph has been an established partner with Bryan-College Station [in] providing care for many years,” Washburn said. “They’re a strong, stable and high quality provider system that now has some additional locations. So if there were any concerns about the future liability of College Station Medical center, I think people should be less concerned now.”
Washburn said similar mergers and acquisitions have been increasing across the U.S. and that economists may worry this will decrease competition within the healthcare marketplace
“We still will have competition in healthcare marketplace in this area,” Washburn said. “I think this will provide a benefit to the community; it will maintain the same level of services that are available, and CHI St. Joseph, within it’s services, will be able to expand the amount of services that they can provide with this acquisition.”
Park said there will be changes over time in their services, and that the focus right now is on making the acquisition a success for the community and employees.
“We’re looking at all of the services provided both in Bryan and College Station, and I think over time you’ll see growth of services in College Station,” Park said.