Alegent Health's acquisition of Creighton University Medical Center might not occur until Sept. 1, but no serious snags have delayed the process, Alegent's leader said last week.
Richard Hachten, Alegent's president and CEO, said two months ago that he hoped the acquisition could take place today. But Hachten said late last week that his administrators continue to pore over 4,000 documents and will close the deal Aug. 1 or Sept. 1, at the latest.
“We are coming very close,” Hachten said. “I'm very confident that it's going to occur.”
Creighton University owns 26 percent of the hospital on North 30th Street and Tenet Healthcare, a Dallas-based hospital corporation, owns the rest. Hachten and the Rev. Timothy Lannon, Creighton University's president, announced on April 24 that their institutions and Tenet had signed nonbinding agreements for the ownership change.
Hachten said Tenet still hasn't allowed Alegent leadership to make a thorough tour of the hospital, and he hasn't spoken to the hospital's Tenet employees.
“It's not my style to not connect with people and be honest and communicative as we can,” he said.
Hachten said he would like to begin talking to workers about their employment with Alegent but understands Tenet's perspective that “until the deal is finished, it's not finished.”
Alegent has committed to hiring all the employees at the hospital, Hachten said. They will have to undergo the process of becoming Alegent employees as any applicant would, to make sure they meet basic requirements, he said. “At this point, we have no reason to believe that they won't.”
He said he has had good access to the university employees affected in the deal and preliminary processes to make them Alegent employees have begun.
The workers will join Alegent at their current pay rates, Hachten said. It's premature to know whether some will take different positions. Some staffers might move to where they are needed more, he said, which also occurs at other Alegent hospitals. Alegent owns five hospitals in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area.
The name of the Alegent-owned Creighton hospital hasn't been determined but will be announced in the near future.
He said the institution will remain an acute-care hospital, and there are no plans at this time to move the trauma center out of the Creighton medical center. Creighton and the Nebraska Medical Center are the two designated trauma centers in Omaha.
“We're fully committed to serving the north Omaha community,” he said. “We will very carefully assess the needs of that part of the community. ... We will go through a period of evaluation, which I would assume would be many, many, many months.”
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