WASHINGTON, D.C. — Georgetown University has agreed to sell a controlling interest in its hospital and medical network to Medstar Health Inc. in an attempt to rescue the teaching facility from debts totaling $80 million, the Washington Post reports.
The partnership would make Medstar Health Inc. the nonprofit owner of Washington Hospital Center and five other area hospitals, one of the largest businesses in the Washington region and the 15th-largest nonprofit health care system in the U.S.
The partnership would swell Medstar to 22,000 employees who would collect $980 million a year.
In return for assuming the debt, Medstar would assume control of Georgetown University Hospital – without changing its name. Georgetown’s nursing and medical schools will remain with the university.
Religious policies prohibiting abortion and sterilization will be maintained under the new leadership.
The partnership allows Medstar to divert patients from the overcrowded Washington Hospital Center to Georgetown’s underused facility. The company will also enjoy the prestige of one of the nation’s top universities.
Medstar President John P. McDaniel claims to have learned from failed teaching hospital mergers throughout the U.S., but some employees and outside observers are concerned about the merger, the Post reports.
Unionized workers are concerned about back pay, professors are concerned about maintaining tenure, and all employees are concerned about losing the university’s generous employee benefits.
With the approval of D.C. health officials and federal regulators, the deal will take effect July 1.