South Texas Health System’s acquisition of Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco is scheduled to be finalized at the end of January 2012.
The partnership process began in May 2011 when a consultant hired by Knapp Medical Center recommended that the 226-bed community hospital find a strategic partner in the local marketplace. After reviewing various proposals, Knapp Medical Center chose to enter into negotiations with South Texas Health System (STHS).
A fixture in the Rio Grande Valley for 30 years, STHS is the operator of four acute care facilities: Edinburg Regional Medical Center, Edinburg Children’s Hospital, McAllen Medical Center and McAllen Heart Hospital along with the South Texas Behavioral Health Center and Cornerstone Regional Hospital. The agreement, announced on Nov. 30, provides a two-month window until the closing on Jan. 31 which gives the parties time to complete surveys and iron out details.
“This is a win-win-win for everybody: the Weslaco community, Knapp Medical Center and South Texas Health System,” said Doug Matney, group vice president of South Texas Health System.
STHS is a part of UHS which is a Fortune 500 hospital management company with over 100 facilities. The partnership with STHS will give Knapp patients access to physician coverage and health services not currently available in Weslaco.
Weslaco and Hidalgo County are projected to be gaining between two and two-and-one half million dollars in tax revenue, Matney said, as Knapp shifts from its non-profit status. Proceeds of the sale to STHS will go to a new foundation that will fund health care initiatives in the Weslaco community.
“Knapp employees are guaranteed their jobs at the same rate of pay and benefits they have now,” Matney said. “The City of Weslaco is going to have many benefits from this. But most important, the individual patient will reap the greatest benefits by getting the healthcare services they need in Weslaco. They won’t have to go to other cities.”
STHS’s existing acute care facilities are Certified Stroke Centers and Chest Pain Centers. McAllen Medical Center is the Lead Trauma Center for Hidalgo County and in the process of upgrading to Level II. STHS’ goal, Matney stated, is to try to make sure that the residents of Valley get the level of care they deserve.
“We want to become and remain the premier provider of services in the community.” Matney said the current intent is to bring a Chest Pain Center to Knapp. “We will have to work with the physicians on that. If we have the support of the medical community, that will happen.”
The purchase price will not be disclosed until the sale is finalized.
Story by Eileen Mattei