AUBURN, Wash.— Universal Health Services reached a definitive agreement to sell 120-bed Auburn Regional Medical Center to the Multicare Health System. The deal, which would result in proceeds of about $98 million, is expected to close by September pending regulatory approval, Universal Health said in a news release. “Over the past several years, UHS has concentrated on mid-size markets where we hold market leading positions, and this market no longer fits our long-term strategy,” the publicly traded hospital operator said in the release. Multicare, based in Tacoma, owns three Washington hospitals: 72-bed Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center, Tacoma; 223-bed Multicare Good Samaritan Hospital, Puyallup; and 411-bed Tacoma General Hospital. Multicare President and CEO Diane Cecchettini said in a news release that the addition of Auburn Regional would complement Multicare’s freestanding emergency department in Covington, a city south of Seattle about 10 miles from Auburn. The system plans to build a 58-bed hospital at the Covington site.
HILO, Hawaii— The Hawaii Island Beacon Community, a federally funded project aiming to improve healthcare and increase the use of electronic health records among primary-care providers on the “Big Island,” is launching a program to transform 30 independent primary-care practices into patient-centered medical homes. The practices will use free of charge the services and educational materials of Transformed, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians, according to a news release. The medical-home model makes heavy use of electronic health records and e-communication as well as other information technology tools, such as clinical decision support and patient registries. The federal government is providing $343,000 in funding for Hawaii’s medical-home transformation project, according to a Hawaii Island Beacon Community representative. The HIBC is administered through the College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, is one of 17 communities participating in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’S Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program.