Nix Health, Downtown Hospital To Be Sold by California-Based Parent Company

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The NIX Hospital in downtown San Antonio.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

The Nix Medical Center in downtown San Antonio is being sold by its California-based owner.

Prospect Medical Holdings, the parent company of Nix Health, is seeking a buyer for the downtown hospital and four affiliated medical facilities.

Los Angeles-based Prospect, which acquired Nix Health in 2012, told the Rivard Report it is seeking local or national buyers for its San Antonio properties in order to focus more on other markets, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

“We are proud of the care we have provided and the difference we have made in the competitive San Antonio market,” Prospect officials said in a statement Wednesday. “We will intensify our focus and resources in our other markets where we can provide quality, cost-effective, coordinated care through our comprehensive network of hospitals, medical groups, and ancillary facilities.”

Nix officials declined to comment.

Nix Health has been in San Antonio since 1930 and operates the Nix Medical Center downtown, Nix Alamo Heights, two behavioral health centers, a sleep clinic, and physician offices for its home health care program. These facilities are the only ones in Texas owned by Prospect, which has acquired 20 hospitals and more than 165 primary and specialty clinics throughout its regional network since forming in 1996.

Prospect recently had its credit rating downgraded by Moody’s Investor Service, the credit bond rating business of the Moody’s Corporation, citing Prospect’s significantly higher debt load since borrowing $440 million last year to pay a dividend to the private equity funds that own Prospect.

The report said the company’s debt at the end of 2018 amounted to 11.5 times its cash earnings before interest payments and taxes. That compared to a ratio of 4.9 for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017, Moody’s said.

The downgrading by Moody’s pushes the company deeper into speculative grade or “junk” status.

The J. M. Nix Professional Building, now simply known as the Nix Medical Center, was a dream of developer Joseph M. Nix, who envisioned a large, multimillion-dollar building that not only housed a hospital, but also physicians’ offices and a parking garage. The late-1920s Gothic-style 22-story building was designed by architect Henry T. Phelps, who also designed the 1922 Maverick Building.

Nix Health soon became home to a storied list of medical firsts, including opening the first nuclear medicine department to offer radiation therapy in San Antonio, and development of the first non-rusting metal used in bone fracture repair, known as Vitallium metal plates.

Prospect bought Nix Health from Kentucky-based Merit Health Systems, who oversaw the facilities since 2004.

“Since acquiring the Nix, we have invested to improve the physical plant, equipment and IT systems, expanded service lines and increased hospital volume, and improved the quality of care and patient satisfaction,” the company said.

20 thoughts on “Nix Health, Downtown Hospital To Be Sold by California-Based Parent Company

  1. One can only wonder how many life long San Antonians will lose their “birth-place” if the Nix were to be replaced with another Riverwalk Hotel… It was mine..

  2. Could it be that the Nix Hospital is falling victim to the suburbanization of the healthcare industry? People want their healthcare to be available promptly, cheap, and close by.

  3. Working for Prospect Medical in another state I can tell you that NOTHING matters to the company but $$$$$$$$.
    Our once proud hospital is barely recognizable. Employee morale is in the gutter.
    Sorry for your situation but maybe a new owner will be better. We are hoping to be sold.

    • I am a former employee at Nix hospital. Worked in surgery and all I can say is that the people are great but the owners, directors and managers treat everyone in there respected departments like trash. Always threatening to fire you or write you up for any minute thing that they “think” you did or should have done.

  4. They left out the class action suit against prospect holdings for employees working without getting lunches or forcing them to clock out for lunch even when they didn’t get one.

  5. They also fail to say that the 30 year former CEO was pushed out by Prospect in early 2015. The NIX was profitable until this occurred and it has been a nightmare and revolving door since. Only about $$$$$ and getting rid of long term effective, loyal employees. So pleased Prospect paid themselves and their PE partners $440 million and pushed NIX even further down. Sad, sad, sad the way Doctors and employees were treated.

  6. I left the Nix because of the unstable environment created by corporate, especially once the original CEO was quietly moved to a newly created position. Previous comment talks about a revolving door. This is very true. As part of my 5 years there, we all struggled through many adminstrative turnovers (3 CEOs, 2 CFOs, 2 COOs, and 2 CNOs ) and numerous employee rifts. Everyone was always scared to lose their job. More times than not, it seemed like corporate and local administration were not on the same page. As managers were let go, the managers that were left were asked to pick up the slack. Additional responsibilities and employees were being added to managers with no increase in pay or resources to properly manage increased workloads. This was an extremely stressful environment while wondering if you were next to be let go. I hope it is bought by those who understand the local dynamics and not a corporation outside of this region that tries to completely manage it from afar, solely through data and calculations on paper. I pray for those employees that I left behind who are now scared more than ever about their job security. And most importantly, I really pray that patients don’t suffer if Nix closes as a hospital.

  7. Those of us who live and work in or near downtown want our healthcare here too. Time for Weston Urban to step in?

  8. Place is too antiquated to be a hospital. Not safe. Elevators barely work. Surgical suites are not safe. Patient safety is not a concern. It would make a better hotel than hospital. The physical structure of the Nix restricts its potential. Was great back in the day but now is a death trap waiting to be sprung.

  9. A friend was just a patient. The facility is too outdated. The doctor was fine, but the building is a nightmare. Who wants to be a patient in the middle of tourista SA? The noise level is unbearable. The elevators stop at every floor, almost every time. The front of the hospital was riddled with those scooters infesting downtown.

    The nurses were friendly, but uninformed. Just total disarray. Yes, a death trap in case of fire.

    The building will make a great hotel, which is what it now should be.

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