Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. planted its stamp in the northeastern corner of Florida last week with an agreement to buy a large Jacksonville hospital.
Jacksonville was one of the few urban centers in the state where the Louisville, Ky.-based chain didn't operate a healthcare system. Last week, 197-hospital Columbia/HCA signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with Memorial Healthcare System to operate Memorial Hospital Jacksonville.
Columbia/HCA, the nation's largest hospital chain, will own 80% of the joint venture, and Memorial will own 20%. Terms were not disclosed, although Memorial officials said they were contributing $150 million in assets to the deal.
"We expect to establish relationships with other hospitals to build our network" in Jacksonville, said Dan Moen, Columbia/HCA's Florida group president. Columbia now operates 224-bed Orange Park (Fla.) Medical Center, located in a Jacksonville suburb, and Parkside Surgery Center in Jacksonville, an outpatient facility it acquired last week through a merger with Medical Care America, a Dallas-based surgery center chain.
Memorial Healthcare System owns five facilities in Jacksonville: 353-bed Memorial Hospital Jacksonville; Memorial Specialty Hospital, a 107-bed subacute facility; and three outpatient surgery centers. Mr. Moen said the system also owns one of the two positron emission tomography scanners in the state and three magnetic resonance imaging scanners.
Including Memorial, Columbia/HCA will operate 47 Florida facilities generating $3.1 billion in annual revenues. The company owns 22% of the hospitals in Florida.
Charles Evans, chief executive officer of Memorial Hospital, will be in charge of the Jacksonville market for Columbia/HCA, Mr. Moen said. The deal, which is expected to be completed by Jan. 1, 1995, will convert Memorial's tax-exempt status to tax-paying.