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St. Luke's agrees to purchase Des Peres Hospital

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Des Peres Hospital

Image from Des Peres Hospital Facebook page

St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield has signed a definitive agreement to buy Tenet-owned Des Peres Hospital.

The deal expands St. Luke’s footprint and is likely to improve its leverage with payers, St. Luke’s CEO Christine Candio told the Post-Dispatch on Friday.

St. Luke’s has long dominated health care in the Chesterfield areaand was one of the area’s last remaining independent hospitals. This deal grows St. Luke’s operations at the same time insurers and hospital systems are bulking up across the country.

The deal also includes any Tenet-owned physician organizations, the hospital said Friday.

Without Des Peres, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. no longer operates any hospitals in St. Louis, which was once a major market for the for-profit chain. However, Tenet still has a presence here with outpatient surgery centers through its joint venture with United Surgical Partners.

Tenet sold St. Louis University Hospital in 2015 to St. Louis University, which then transferred the ownership to Creve Coeur-based SSM Health.

St. Luke’s purchase of Des Peres is expected to be finalized early this year pending regulatory approval, according to a statement. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Candio said there would be no layoffs.

Des Peres Hospital CEO David Loving notified staff of the change on Friday morning.

In a letter to employees obtained by the Post-Dispatch, Loving wrote, “St. Luke’s has a long and rich history of caring for our community, and I believe that by combining the strengths of both organizations, we will establish an even stronger healthcare network to serve our communities in the future.”

When asked about whether any capital improvements would be made to Des Peres, which is only a few miles from St. Luke’s Chesterfield campus, Candio said, “We’re working through that.”

Des Peres Hospital said its largest service lines are orthopedics and bariatrics or weight loss, surgery.

The deal comes amid continuing consolidation in the St. Louis health care industry.

Just this week, BJC HealthCare received approval to take over two hospitals in the Metro East.

Last year, the area’s other longstanding independent hospital, St. Anthony’s Medical Center in south St. Louis County, was acquired by Mercy, one of the country’s largest Catholic health care systems.

Consolidation in the industry is rampant across the country. Last year, CVS made a bid to take over insurance giant Aetna. And Ascension, based in Edmundson and the nation’s largest nonprofit health system, is said to be in talks to acquire Providence St. Joseph Health. The deal would make Ascension the nation’s largest hospital operator.

After SSM’s acquisition of St. Louis University hospital, many wondered what would become of Des Peres, Tenet’s last remaining hospital in the region.

Tenet had previously stated that it wanted to be the No. 1 or No. 2 player in each of its markets. Tenet does not have a significant market share in St. Louis.

Des Peres Hospital, formerly Deaconess West, is a 143-bed facility at 2345 Dougherty Ferry Road.

In 1997, Tenet bought Deaconess Incarnate Word Health System, in a multihospital deal that included Deaconess West.

Samantha Liss • 314-340-8017

@samanthann on Twitter

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