HCA to purchase 5 Utah hospitals from Steward Health Care

HCA Healthcare has signed a deal to acquire the operations of five Utah hospitals from Steward Health Care, the companies announced Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The purchase is subject to regulatory review and is accompanied by a concurrent real estate leasing deal with the buildings’ owner, the companies said.

“Utah is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, and the state’s need for healthcare continues to increase,” said Sam Hazen, CEO of HCA Healthcare, in a statement. “We believe the addition of these facilities will help us improve healthcare network options for patients and enable investment in services to meet increasing demand for healthcare. We look forward to welcoming them to the HCA Healthcare family.”

The new hospitals are set to bolster HCA’s Mountain Division, which currently spans 11 hospitals in Utah, Idaho and Alaska. The deal would bring the chain’s total number of Utah hospitals up to seven.

Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare currently runs 187 hospitals and roughly 2,000 ambulatory care sites. The for-profit system brought in $51.5 billion in total revenue last year.

RELATED: HCA sells off dozens of its newly acquired home care locations to keep the focus on core networks

The deal follows on the heels of HCA’s divesture of nearly 50 home health, hospice and therapy locations as well as several Georgia-based hospitals. The company told investors these sales would pave the way for acquisitions and investments like this week’s deal that bolster the strength of HCA’s more established markets.

Dallas-based Steward Health Care, meanwhile, is a physician-led healthcare network that currently operates 39 hospitals across the U.S. and five internationally. The company said the sale of its Utah hospitals will support its ability to grow its other established regions.

“We are very proud of Steward’s significant contributions to the quality and efficiency of operations in these facilities,” CEO and Chairman Ralph de la Torre, M.D., said in a statement. “We are confident that the combination with HCA Healthcare will enable the achievement of cost savings and further improved quality of care for patients in Utah. For Steward, this transaction frees up additional capital to more deliberately invest in its accountable care model (largest in the U.S. and #2 in shared savings for MSSP 2020) by reinvesting in risk-based opportunities and healthcare expansion.”

Steward already bolstered its presence within Florida earlier this year with the roughly $1.1 billion purchase of five hospitals and their associated physician practices from Tenet Healthcare.

Should the deal go through, HCA would be taking a stronger stance against Utah’s largest provider, Intermountain Healthcare. The Salt Lake City-based nonprofit just last week announced plans to merge with Colorado-based SCL Health to form a 33-hospital system spanning much of the Rocky Mountains region.

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