AHS Medical Holdings (doing business as Ardent Health Services) is passionate about healing the body. The company operates about 10 acute care hospitals, a rehab hospital, a heart hospital, and a number of specialty care facilities through health systems in the southern US. Its facilities are primarily located in New Mexico, where it operates as the Lovelace Health System, and in Oklahoma, where it operates as Hillcrest HealthCare System. Ardent Health Services' operations also include physician practices, about a dozen pharmacies, and the Lovelace Health Plan, which serves some 240,000 members in New Mexico. Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe owns a controlling stake in Ardent Health Services.
The Lovelace Health System is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is home to six hospitals (four acute care centers, one heart hospital, and one rehab facility) with a total of about 600 beds, as well as 11 retail pharmacies and the Lovelace Health Plan. The Hillcrest Healthcare System in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has six hospitals with a combined total of about 1,200 beds.
Ardent Health added the Baptist St. Anthony's Health System (BSA Health System) with 445 beds in Amarillo, Texas, in 2012.
The Hillcrest Healthcare System's main campus, Hillcrest Medical Center, includes the Oklahoma Heart Institute and other specialty care units. In total the Ardent Health Services system houses about 1,800 beds.
Ardent Hillcrest Medical Center is one of a handful of hospitals in the nation to participate in a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstration project designed to determine how bundling payments to hospitals and doctors for acute care services could potentially help improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs. The hospital estimates it has saved a significant amount of money under the CMS bundling plan, in which health care providers are paid a fixed amount for covered health care services rather than being paid on a per-service basis, with the idea that hospitals will be motivated to reduce costs and volume of services in order to ensure that the payment actually covers the services provided. Bundled payments are part of the health care reform bill being debated in the White House.
To focus on core offerings, in early 2012 Ardent sold the S.E.D. Medical Laboratories division of Lovelace Health to national pathology services firm Quest Diagnostics for an undisclosed sum. The sale includes the main medical diagnostic lab facilities and about 15 patient service and office locations across New Mexico. Quest will continue to provide inpatient lab services to Lovelace's hospitals, where patients will have access to Quest broader diagnostic testing resources.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2013 Ardent Health expanded into Texas when it acquired an 80% stake in the BSA Health System from CHRISTUS Health. The system is jointly operated with the Baptist Community Services senior health organization.
In 2012 the Lovelace system's acute care capacity was expanded through the purchase of the 30-bed Roswell Regional Hospital; the purchase extended Ardent's presence into southeastern New Mexico.
The company expanded its network of facilities in New Mexico in 2011 when Lovelace Health System acquired the 60-bed Heart Hospital of New Mexico from specialty services firm MedCath for some $119 million. The heart hospital, which provides cardiac care and other specialty services such as orthopedics and ENT (ear, nose, and throat) surgeries, expanded Ardent's specialty care operations.
Ardent Health Services also widened its presence in Oklahoma in 2011 through Hillcrest HealthCare's purchase of the 180-bed SouthCrest Hospital in Tulsa and the 90-bed Claremore Regional Hospital in Claremore from Community Health Systems for an undisclosed price. Hillcrest plans to invest in renovation and expansion efforts at both hospitals.
Investment firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe acquired majority ownership of BHC in 2001 and renamed the company as Ardent Health Systems.
Ardent was founded in 1993 as Behavioral Healthcare Corporation (BHC), which had six behavioral treatment centers at the outset. – less