—For-profit chain Ardent Health Services, Nashville, agreed to purchase 80% of one-hospital Baptist St. Anthony's Health System through a joint venture to be formed with Baptist Community Services of Amarillo, which currently owns half of the system and would own 20% of the joint venture under the deal, according to an Ardent news release. Christus Health, Irving, Texas, which owns the other half of the system, would give up its ownership, as Christus announced it intended to do in December. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the agreement calls for $40 million of the sale proceeds to go toward the creation of the Don and Sybil Harrington Cancer Foundation, which will back the mission of the Harrington Cancer Center and its cancer-related programs, education, research and services, according to the Ardent release.
The agreement also calls for Ardent to invest $50 million into the construction of a new expanded emergency room and to invest $75 million in Baptist St. Anthony's over the next five years for additional services, equipment and technology. The deal also stipulates that Ardent guarantee that all employees are hired upon the completion of the sale with essentially the same benefits and compensation, and that it endorse and support Baptist St. Anthony's current charity-care policies. In addition, Baptist Community Services would appoint half of the joint venture's governing board. The deal, expected to close by year-end, includes 451-bed Baptist St. Anthony's hospital; the Harrington Cancer Center; a network of primary-care, urgent-care, surgical and bariatric clinics; a preferred provider network; and Baptist St. Anthony's partnership interests in Physicians Surgical Hospitals, ADC Endoscopy Specialists and Advanced Imaging Center, according to the Ardent release.
DURHAM, N.C.—Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is offering telehealth services to its employees through a partnership with Walgreens Take Care Health Systems and telehealth company American Well. The health insurer, which has thousands of employees in North Carolina, said in a news release that the program will allow it to offer more convenient and cost-effective care. Close to 40% of N.C. Blues employees are enrolled in a consumer-driven health savings account plan, according to the release. Through the telehealth service, known as OnlineCareNC, the health plan's employees will be able to consult with a Take Care Health Systems nurse practitioner, health coach or nutritionist from their home or office. The platform lets users connect through two-way video, text chat or phone and will automatically create an electronic health record of the encounter. Walgreens Take Care Health Systems already manages Blue Cross' on-site health centers. Employees will be able to connect virtually with a nurse practitioner only after they have established a relationship with a health center provider, the release said.
“As I stand here today, I am struck by what it took to get here,” St. Joseph’s-Baptist executive Isaac Mallah said of the new hospital.
—BayCare Health System has broken ground for a hospital campus in southern Hillsborough County that will include a hospital and two physician office buildings. The $225 million St. Joseph's Hospital-South is being built on a 72-acre campus in Riverview, about 10 miles southeast of Tampa, and is expected to open in 2015. Attached to the four-story hospital will be a medical office building intended for pre-procedure testing and doctors' offices. The campus also will house a 40,000-square-foot free-standing physician office building, expected to open in 2013, that will house facilities for imaging and laboratory services along with primary and specialty physician offices. Isaac Mallah, president and CEO of BayCare subsidiary St. Joseph's-Baptist Health Care, said that land in Riverview was first purchased in the 1980s and that hospital officials have actively worked to get the permits for the past seven years.ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.
—Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., plans to form a joint venture with not-for-profit Bayfront Medical Center. For-profit HMA would gain an 80% stake in Bayfront and the 395-bed hospital, and Bayfront would retain 20% ownership and become a for-profit company, according to a news release. Financial terms weren't disclosed. HMA, though, would contribute about $150 million toward a new not-for-profit foundation promoting wellness, healthcare access, research and education, according to the release. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. HMA and its affiliate, Shands HealthCare, based in Gainesville, Fla., would operate Bayfront Medical Center, which would serve as the flagship facility in a new network formed with six of HMA's hospitals in Florida. “The results will include preservation of Bayfront's important mission, growth, access to integral resources, standardization of the industry's best practices and the cost savings that come with economies of scale,” Bayfront President and CEO Sue Brody said in the release.
The new Cancer Institute in Knoxville triples the size of the previous cancer-care facility.
—The University of Tennessee Medical Center opened its new Cancer Institute, capping off a yearlong, $23 million construction project. The 108,000-square-foot facility triples the size of its previous cancer-care facility, according to a news release, and the additional space will help meet the demand resulting from an increased number of cancer cases, as well as the projected rise in cases over the next two decades. Dr. John Bell, director of the cancer institute, said in the release that a key part of the plan will be to bring together all of the medical center's outpatient cancer services under one roof. The new space will see the relocation of the radiation oncology department, and the facility will also be the site of the Breast Center, an imaging center, chemotherapy areas, a laboratory and clinical offices. In addition, the release said the facility will serve as “a hub for cancer research” for physicians and researchers at the UT Graduate School of Medicine. Plans for the facility also include space for integrated health services such as acupuncture and massage therapy as well as a cafe, a boutique and conference rooms for staff and support groups.