Community and LifePoint agree to buy three hospitals
Two for-profit hospital companies reached agreements to buy three hospitals in the South. Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., agreed to nonbinding letters of intent on two separate deals in South Carolina and West Virginia, according to the two sellers. Terms were not disclosed in either deal, one involving 240-bed Bluefield (W.Va.) Regional Medical Center and the other Marion (S.C.) Regional Healthcare System. The Marion system includes 124-bed Marion County Medical Center in Mullins, a 92-bed skilled-nursing center and a physician clinic and outpatient center in Aynor, S.C. Meanwhile, LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., said it agreed to acquire 75-bed Clark Regional Medical Center, Winchester, Ky., with a commitment to invest $60 million to build and equip a replacement hospital. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed. LifePoint and Clark Regional said they expect the deal to close by April 30. The hospital includes 25 skilled-nursing beds. Merger activity is high at the health system level as well (See cover story p. 6).
Bluefield (W.Va.) Hospital is one of the two facilities Community Health intends to buy.