Wise Regional invited to bid on Bowie hospital

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, July 13, 2013

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Bowie Memorial Hospital has hung out the “for sale or lease” sign – and Wise Regional Health System is one of the entities invited to bid on it.

After several difficult financial years and a failed hospital district election in 2011, the board of directors of the 44-bed hospital agreed earlier this month to send out Request For Proposal letters to nine healthcare entities, to see which may be interested in assuming control of its operations.

Responses are requested by Aug. 15.

“We have expressed interest just to assess the report and have asked for additional information,” Shannon Puphal, director of marketing for Wise Regional, said Friday.

“With our recent transactions, we have a lot going on that may impact our decision on working with Bowie, but we do get patients from that area. We serve that market and work with that community.”

According to a July 10 story in the Bowie News, the RFP states that the facility wishes to align itself with a financially sound, reputable regional healthcare partner who desires to manage, lease or own the hospital.

The facility would also consider an affiliation agreement but would prefer that another party take over responsibility for all day-to-day operations.

RFP packets were sent to Texas Health Resources, based in Arlington; Community Hospital Corp. of Plano; New Light Healthcare of Austin; Endeavor Healthcare, based in New Braunfels; and United Regional Health System, based in Wichita Falls. Three Tennessee-based health care companies – Community Health Systems Professional Services Corp. of Franklin, Tenn., LifePoint Hospitals of Brentwood, Tenn. and HCA Holdings of Nashville, Tenn. – also received RFPs.

Bowie Memorial Hospital, which was established in 1966, is a general medical and surgical hospital with 44 beds. Survey data for the latest year available shows that 5,912 patients visited the hospital’s emergency room. The hospital had a total of 1,047 admissions. Its seven physicians performed 49 inpatient and 334 outpatient surgeries.

Wise Regional acquired a new facility this spring when it purchased North Texas Community Hospital in Bridgeport out of bankruptcy. The volume there has been lower than expected, Puphal said, and hospital officials in Decatur are working to boost activity at that facility.

WRHS has also been asked to consider taking over operations of the Community Health Clinic, which is housed on the West Campus in Decatur.

In addition, Wise Regional’s Parkway Surgical Hospital, just off Interstate 35 in north Fort Worth, is due to open this December.

Bowie Memorial Hospital has the equivalent of 155 full-time employees.

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