A community hospital in a strategic population corridor of Maryland agreed late last week to become part of the Johns Hopkins healthcare network in a deal worth $142 million.
Howard County General Hospital in Columbia selected Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins over two other organizations vying for an increased presence in the swath between Baltimore and Washington.
In return, the 182-bed community hospital gained a commitment from Johns Hopkins Medicine, parent of the university's hospitals and medical school, to bankroll capital replacement and strategic expansion projects totaling $45 million.
Those are investments the Columbia hospital said it couldn't afford without being part of a larger organization. Hopkins also agreed to assume about $57 million in debt.
And in an arrangement generally foisted on a not-for-profit hospital changing to for-profit status, Hopkins agreed to set up a $40 million community foundation apart from the hospital network to support health and wellness initiatives.
The transaction is expected to be completed in three to six months.
Neither organization would disclose the other finalists in the bidding, but local news reports identified the suitors as Helix Health, a five-hospital healthcare network based in the Baltimore suburb of Lutherville, and St. Agnes Health Care in Baltimore.
Helix last month agreed to merge with Washington-based Medlantic Healthcare Group, creating a system with
$1.3 billion in operating revenues and a strategy based on expanding into the 35-mile corridor of population growth separating them (Feb. 23, p. 18).
That deal was struck after unsuccessful consolidation talks last fall between Helix and Hopkins.
Hopkins Medicine consists of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, the university school of medicine and other related healthcare companies. In 1996 the system posted net income of $17.5 million on net revenues of $1.4 billion.
Howard County General earned $4.3 million on gross patient revenues of $89 million in fiscal 1997 ended June 30.