The Michigan Court of Appeals has agreed to expedite its hearing on a proposed 50-50 joint venture between Michigan Capital Healthcare in Lansing and Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. that a lower court had ruled illegal.
Given the expedited hearing, Michigan Capital is reconsidering whether to proceed with a sale of 100% of its assets to Columbia. The company, parent of Michigan Capital Medical Center in Lansing, had planned to do a complete sale and reserve the right to buy back 50% if it prevailed in court.
The appeals court could hear the case as early as July.
Another factor is pending state legislation to impose a public hearing process on for-profit hospital conversions, which, if passed, could further slow the deal. If the joint venture goes through, Columbia will be the first for-profit hospital chain to establish a beachhead in Michigan.
Meanwhile, Kern Hospital in Warren gained the distinction of becoming the state's first for-profit hospital. Plastic surgeon Ravindranath Kambhampati, M.D., purchased the 20-bed hospital for about $4 million, including payment of some of the hospital's debt. The not-for-profit corporation that owned the hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October. The hospital's services have been expanded from podiatry to include plastic surgery.