Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

STOCK­BRIDGE, Ga.— Ge­or­gia’s at­tor­ney gen­eral ap­proved a part­ner­ship be­tween Henry Med­i­cal Cen­ter and Pied­mont Health­care, At­lanta, clear­ing the way for the deal to take ef­fect Jan. 1, 2012. The 215-bed hos­pi­tal an­nounced plans to join Pied­mont Health­care in April. The two ne­go­ti­ated a long-term lease agree­ment that would al­low a lo­cal hos­pi­tal au­thor­ity to re­tain own­er­ship of Henry Med­i­cal Cen­ter, which would be­come a sub­sidiary of Pied­mont. The deal re­ceived an­titrust clear­ance from the Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion in Au­gust. That same month, the Hos­pi­tal Au­thor­ity of Henry County and the boards of Henry Med­i­cal Cen­ter and Pied­mont to­gether an­nounced their ap­proval of the terms of the agree­ment. “The fa­vor­able find­ing by the at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice is the last of sev­eral val­i­da­tions that a promis­ing fu­ture as part of the Pied­mont sys­tem is on the hori­zon,” Jeff Mills, chair­man of Henry Med­i­cal Cen­ter’s af­fil­i­a­tion steer­ing com­mit­tee, said in a joint news re­lease. SMITH­FIELD, N.C.— John­ston Health is­sued a re­quest for af­fil­i­a­tion pro­pos­als that could range from an ex­pan­sion of its cur­rent ser­vice-line af­fil­i­a­tions to a merger or sale. John­ston Health in­cludes 175-bed John­ston Med­i­cal Cen­ter-smith­field (N.C.), as well as an am­bu­la­tory cen­ter with an emer­gency depart­ment and two op­er­at­ing rooms in Clay­ton, N.C.; an ur­gent-care clinic in Smith­field; and two physi­cian clin­ics. The sys­tem does not ex­pect the re­sult of its search to af­fect ex­ist­ing ser­vice-line af­fil­i­a­tions with Wake County’s three big sys­tems: Duke Univer­sity Health Sys­tem, Durham, N.C.; Rex Health­care, Raleigh, which is part of UNC Health Care, Chapel Hill; and Wakemed Health & Hos­pi­tals, Raleigh. John­ston Health has had a man­age­ment-ser­vices agree­ment with Quo­rum Health Re­sources, the man­age­ment arm of Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems, Franklin, Tenn., for about 25 years. The sys­tem is ex­plor­ing new op­tions be­cause the re­im­burse­ment cli­mate is wors­en­ing and en­dan­gers the sys­tem’s ac­cess to cap­i­tal, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. John­ston hopes to add 50 in­pa­tient beds in Clay­ton and take other steps that would ex­pand ser­vices, in­crease its mar­ket share and im­prove its fi­nan­cial re­sults, spokes­woman Suzette Ro­driguez wrote in an e-mail. A sale is the least likely out­come and would have to win ap­proval from John­ston County com­mis­sion­ers to go into ef­fect, Ro­driguez said. LOUISVILLE, Ky.— The Jef­fer­son County at­tor­ney’s of­fice, which rep­re­sents the Louisville met­ro­pol­i­tan area, filed a law­suit against the Univer­sity of Louisville de­mand­ing the re­lease of doc­u­ments re­lated to the pend­ing three-hos­pi­tal merger in­volv­ing the univer­sity’s hos­pi­tal. Jef­fer­son County At­tor­ney Mike O’con­nell said it’s the pub­lic’s right to see fi­nan­cial records re­gard­ing the deal, which would give Catholic Health Ini­tia­tives the ma­jor­ity stake in the hos­pi­tal. The univer­sity, mean­while, is locked in a le­gal dis­pute over dis­clos­ing merger in­for­ma­tion sought by var­i­ous lo­cal me­dia and the Ken­tucky chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union. In Novem­ber, the Ken­tucky at­tor­ney gen­eral ruled Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal a pub­lic en­tity, and thus vul­ner­a­ble to the state’s open records law, a con­clu­sion the univer­sity has chal­lenged. The $620 mil­lion trans­ac­tion also in­volves Den­ver-based CHI’S St. Joseph Health Sys­tem in Lex­ing­ton, Ky., and Jewish Hos­pi­tal & St. Mary’s Health­care in Louisville. Hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials hope to close the deal by Jan. 1, pend­ing the ap­proval of Gov. Steve Bes­hear and the Ro­man Catholic Church. ROCKVILLE, Md.— An­other hos­pi­tal sys­tem is team­ing up with an­other physi­cian group, but in the joint ven­ture be­tween Ad­ven­tist Health­care—a five­hos­pi­tal, Rockville, Md.-based sys­tem— and 700-physi­cian, Washington-based GW Med­i­cal Fac­ulty As­so­ci­ates, the physi­cian group will be in charge of run­ning the busi­ness and con­tract­ing with doc­tors. A goal of the deal is to grow the num­ber of em­ployed physi­cians, but the doc­tors will be em­ploy­ees of the joint ven­ture and not the hos­pi­tal sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. The two or­ga­ni­za­tions have formed a lim­ited-li­a­bil­ity com­pany called Ad­ven­tist Med­i­cal Fac­ulty As­so­ci­ates, Ad­ven­tist spokesman Thomas Grant said in an e-mail. Grant added that it will not oper­ate as an ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tion and that Ad­ven­tist Health­care and GW Med­i­cal Fac­ulty As­so­ci­ates “will have equal weight on a com­mit­tee over­see­ing the group.” The Ad­ven­tist Med­i­cal Group’s 14 em­ployed doc­tors also will be­come em­ploy­ees of the new ven­ture. WES­LACO, Texas— South Texas Health Sys­tem, a divi­sion of King of Prus­sia, Pa.based Uni­ver­sal Health Ser­vices, reached an agree­ment to ac­quire Knapp Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Wes­laco, Texas. Knapp, a 202-bed fa­cil­ity, opened in 1961. Fi­nan­cial terms of the deal were not dis­closed. “This part­ner­ship is go­ing to have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the Rio Grande Val­ley’s ac­cess to com­pre­hen­sive, qual­ity health­care,” Dou­glas Mat­ney, re­gional vice pres­i­dent of Uni­ver­sal Health Ser­vices, said in a news re­lease. South Texas Health Sys­tem in­cludes 817-bed Ed­in­burg (Texas) Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter and 635-bed Mcallen (Texas) Med­i­cal Cen­ter. Last year, Knapp, a tax-ex­empt hos­pi­tal, signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with Val­ley Bap­tist Health Sys­tem, Har­lin­gen, Texas. The talks ex­pired with­out a deal.

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