AvMed-SantaFe, a Gainesville, Fla.-based healthcare system, has signed a letter of intent to sell its six hospitals to 546-bed Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
In choosing Shands, AvMed turned down an unspecified offer from Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.
Terms of the transaction with Shands were not disclosed. If the deal closes as expected within 90 days, the university's network will include seven hospitals with nearly 1,300 beds located in the Gainesville area. AvMed's largest hospital is 405-bed Alachua General Hospital in Gainesville.
AvMed has agreed to use part of the proceeds to fund two foundations: one to provide funds for research and the other to offer subsidies to low-income individuals to purchase managed-care insurance, said Josh Nemzoff, a financial consultantConsolidations
in Nashville who arranged the deal.
"We are compatible, not-for-profit organizations with a common tradition of meeting the healthcare needs of the people in this area," said Joe G. Dunlap, AvMed chairman.
John V. Lombardi, president of the University of Florida, said the acquisition will enhance the university's delivery system and make its network more attractive to managed-care payers.
Not part of the deal is AvMed Health Plan, a 265,000-enrollee HMO, which contracts with more than 110 hospitals and more than 5,000 physicians.
Last month AvMed joined American Healthcare Systems, an alliance that includes hospital-based systems with strong managed-care components (May 1, p. 4). Shands is a member of SunHealth Alliance, Charlotte, N.C.