HCA completes buyout of foundation’s Healthone stake
HCA, Nashville, completed its $1.45 billion buyout of the Colorado Health Foundation’s ownership in HealthOne. HCA announced the news a day after the deal won conditional approval from the state’s attorney general and even as critics considered ways to keep up the fight. HealthOne, created in 1995 as a joint venture between HCA and the Colorado Health Foundation, operates seven hospitals and 13 ambulatory surgery centers in the Denver area. In his opinion, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers set new stipulations on HCA, including a guarantee that the system’s seven acute-care hospitals will remain open for at least five years. A group of former directors of the foundation or its predecessor organizations that has argued against the sale is evaluating its options, according to one of these critics, Richard Anderson. “This transaction clearly places additional burdens on the users of hospital services through either increased costs or a reduction of services in order to provide financial rewards to those beyond our community,” Anderson wrote in an e-mail. The Colorado Center on Law and Policy, which has supported the sale but urged more conditions on it, is generally pleased with the changes, according to its executive director, Christine Murphy. Suthers also required that a community board of trustees and HealthOne’s indigent-care and community benefit programs must continue for 15 years, rather than the 10 years originally proposed. Indigentcare and community benefit programs may be altered during years 11 through 15 by a majority of trustees.
With the change, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and the rest of HealthOne are wholly owned by HCA.