BLUE ISLAND, Ill.—
Metrosouth Medical Center, a hospital in Chicago’s south suburbs that was on the verge of closing three years ago, plans to be acquired by for-profit Community Health Systems. The 281-bed hospital was sponsored by the Catholic Franciscan Sisters of St. Mary for 103 years, until 2008, when SSM Health Care, St. Louis, sold it to private investors through a holding company called MSMC Investors. Nashville-based Community Health Systems said one of its subsidiaries would acquire the hospital in the first quarter of 2012, pending regulatory approvals. According to a news release from MSMC Investors, CHS will pay about $20 million for upgrades to equipment, information systems and infrastructure during the five years after the acquisition. CHS plans to offer “substantially all active employees in good standing” their same positions and salaries and will continue the hospital’s charity-care policies. For-profit CHS owns eight facilities in Illinois, including two in the Chicago market. “The acquisition of Metrosouth Medical Center will offer a compelling opportunity to expand our operations in Illinois, especially in the northeast section of the state around Chicago,” CHS President, CEO and Chairman Wayne Smith said in a news release. Dr. Enrique Beckmann will remain as CEO of the hospital, according to MSMC. The transaction requires approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, and a hearing is expected in February, MSMC said. MSMC is composed of Harrison, N.y.-based Falcon Investors and Transition Healthcare Co.