MultiCare Health System has entered into an agreement to purchase the majority ownership interest in Capital Medical Center in Olympia from subsidiaries of LifePoint Health, a holding company based in Tennessee. We expect to complete this purchase in the first quarter of 2021, subject to any necessary regulatory reviews and customary closing conditions.
The following are answers to some commonly asked questions about this transaction.
Q: What is LifePoint Health?
A: LifePoint Health is an investor-owned holding company based in Tennessee. Capital Medical Center is one of its affiliated entities.
Q. What is Capital Medical Center?
A. Capital Medical Center is a full-service, 107-bed community hospital that opened in 1985 and serves communities in Olympia, as well as Thurston, Mason, Lewis and Grays Harbor counties. Capital Medical Center provides a comprehensive range of medical services and evidence-based care to patients throughout the South Sound, including a Level I Nursery.
Q. How many employees and physicians are part of Capital Medical Center?
A. Capital Medical Center has 620 employees, including 16 physicians and 9 APPs.
Q. Is Capital Medical Center a faith-based health system?
A. No. Like MultiCare, Capital Medical Center is a secular health system. Unlike MultiCare, Capital Medical Center is an investor-owned hospital while MultiCare is a community-based, not-for-profit organization.
Q: Capital Medical Center is a for-profit system. Will MultiCare change its status?
A: The transaction will not impact MultiCare’s nonprofit status or change its charitable and tax-exempt mission. Capital Medical Center will remain a for-profit system for now and will continue to follow its current charity care policy.
Q. Is MultiCare also acquiring other LifePoint Health facilities in Washington?
A. No. MultiCare is only acquiring an ownership interest in Capital Medical Center.
Q. What is the timing for this transaction? When will the ownership change be effective?
A. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to any necessary regulatory reviews/approvals and customary closing conditions. Capital Medical Center will continue leasing land and facilities from Capital Medical Center’s current landlord.
Q. Will MultiCare be the sole owner of Capital Medical Center?
A. A small percentage of the ownership of Capital Medical Center (less than 10 percent) is held by a group of community physicians. Current plans are for the physicians to maintain these ownership interests, but this could change in connection with the transaction closing.
Q. Capital Medical Center has had a public-private partnership with UW Medicine as a Community Health Partner. How will this acquisition change that?
A. UW Medicine owns a small interest in Capital Medical Center that also will be sold as part of this transaction. UW Medicine and MultiCare will continue their clinical collaboration activities in the communities served by CMC.
Q: Will Capital Medical Center’s name change?
A: Upon completion of the purchase, Capital Medical Center will become MultiCare Capital Medical Center.
Q: How does MultiCare envision this acquisition impacting day-to-day operations for MultiCare's other hospitals and community-based care in the greater Puget Sound region?
A: MultiCare’s leaders and team members within our current hospital organizations and services will remain focused on fulfilling our Mission, achieving our Vision and delivering on our 10-10-10-25 Performance Excellence goals, striving to provide affordable, world-class care and service to our patients. Partnering with Capital Medical Center offers new opportunities for all of us to share best practices and learn from each other. We do not anticipate operational changes to existing MultiCare locations at this time.
Q: Will the governance of Capital Medical Center change? Do they have a board?
A: Capital Medical Center does have its own board of directors. MultiCare will replace any LifePoint appointed members on the Capital Medical Center board with individuals appointed by MultiCare. We will work with the remaining Capital Medical Center leaders and board members currently involved in the governance of Capital Medical Center to ensure that the governance structures now in place or developed in the future support the success of Capital Medical Center.
Q: Does Capital Medical Center have a community foundation?
A: As a for-profit organization, Capital Medical Center does not have a community foundation. It does offer financial assistance for those that meet certain criteria. More information about their financial assistance policy can be found on their website.
Q: Why is MultiCare interested in purchasing Capital Medical Center?
A: MultiCare’s vision is to be the highest value system of health in the Pacific Northwest and our commitment to expanding access to care and services in the Puget Sound and Inland Northwest communities remains steadfast. Adding a hospital in Olympia to the MultiCare family will allow us to partner with more patients and more communities and allow us to extend our Mission to a larger population of patients. It will also allow us to have a greater impact statewide as an important part of the health care community and position us to have greater influence on the future of health care in the Pacific Northwest.
Q: How does this acquisition support MultiCare’s mission, vision and values?
A: We are on a journey to become the highest value system of health in the Pacific Northwest and our commitment to the growing Puget Sound and Inland Northwest communities remains steadfast. Adding a hospital in Olympia to the MultiCare family will allow us to partner with more patients and more communities and is in line with our organizational strategy of expanding access to care and services. It will allow us to have a greater impact statewide as a major health system, with greater ability to influence the future of health care in the Pacific Northwest.
Q: How will this purchase impact MultiCare’s overall financial health if the organization is also focused on reducing costs in response to COVID-19?
A: MultiCare has a long history of investing to expand access to care during both good and difficult times. We are successfully weathering the current financial challenges because of our fidelity to our Mission, Vision and Values, which are providing a strong framework for success and sustainability. We are successful, in part, because of our breadth and depth of service in the geographies we are in and our strong history of good stewardship.
We have consistently built the financial reserves necessary to invest in our future, and our expansion into new geographic regions — and expanding our service offerings in regions where we already have a presence — is important to ensure a healthy future for MultiCare and our patients, employees, providers, partners and communities.
Q: Does MultiCare have other plans to expand?
A: We are always looking for innovative, collaborative ways to partner to meet the needs of people and communities across the Pacific Northwest. We will pursue opportunities to expand where and when it makes sense to do so. “Expansion” can mean a variety of things, from mergers and acquisitions to clinical affiliations and other partnerships that do not involve ownership changes.
Q: What will happen to current Capital Medical Center employees?
A: We will welcome Capital Medical Center’s employees in good standing at the time of transaction close as our new colleagues and as part of our greater organization They will remain employees of Capital Medical Center, although some employee support systems, like payroll and benefits, will be administered through MultiCare’s operations. Our Support Services teams will work with our new colleagues to make any necessary technology or process transitions in the coming months.
Q: Will there be layoffs at Capital Medical Center as a result of this transaction?
A: We do not anticipate any layoffs at the close of the acquisition.
Q: How will this affect the day-to-day work of employees?
A: It’s “business as usual” for MultiCare and Capital Medical Center employees. A small group of leaders from both organizations will continue working on the transition as we get ready to complete the purchase sometime in early 2021. We ask that you continue to provide excellent care for our patients and serve as stewards for the health of our community. We will communicate with employees when there is new information to share.
Q: How does this acquisition impact the executive leadership at Capital Medical Center?
A: Will Callicoat, who joined MultiCare in 2017, has recently transitioned into the new role of Thurston County Market Leader. Will, a long-time resident of Olympia, actually started his career in Capital Medical Center’s finance department in 2003, ultimately serving as Capital Medical Center’s Controller before moving on to the Washington State Hospital Association in 2006. As Thurston County Market Leader, he will oversee the next few months of transition planning for Capital Medical Center and its employees into our health system.
Q: Will Capital Medical Center physicians become part of MultiCare’s employed physician medical group?
A: Like other Capital Medical Center employees, physicians and other providers who work directly for Capital Medical Center will remain Capital Medical Center employees. Likewise, the status of providers not employed by the hospital, but who have practicing privileges there, will not be changing.
Q: What does this mean for patient care?
A: Adding a hospital in Olympia to the MultiCare family allows us to partner with more patients, communities and clinicians and is in line with our organizational strategy of expanding access to care and services. The transition will be seamless for Capital Medical patients and staff. There should be no disruptions to care and no changes in appointments or procedures. Patients will continue to access services from the Capital Medical Center providers they know and trust just as they do today.
Q: How does MultiCare plan to be a good community partner in this region?
A: We are committed to listening and learning how Capital Medical Center has previously been active in their community and how we can build on this to become an ever better community partner. We also will reach out to our Thurston County-based MultiCare employees to engage them in dialogue about local community organizations they feel are important to the community. We will share further details as they become available.
Q: What changes will patients notice?
A: Patients of both health systems will continue to receive excellent care and in the near term should not see any impact to their patient experience at either MultiCare or Capital Medical Center. Over time, we will look for opportunities to apply our performance excellence framework at Capital Medical Center to improve quality, safety and financial performance for the communities served by Capital Medical Center and will share any relevant updates with patients as needed.
Q. What’s next?
A. We are in the early stages of this process and the acquisition is not yet final. We will keep employees, patients and the community informed of major milestones as we progress. Our patients and community members can visit our website for the latest information. We will share additional details directly to MultiCare employees and Capital Medical Center employees as needed. All front desk and customer service employees at MultiCare have received specific communications to share when speaking to patients on the phone who have questions about the acquisition.