For-profit hospital chain Health Management Associates hopes to bring a not-for-profit Key West, Fla., hospital system and sole community provider under its for-profit umbrella by the end of the month.
Naples, Fla.-based HMA has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Lower Florida Keys Health System, a 169-bed, not-for-profit hospital system in Key West. The deal is expected to close by the end of this month, pending state and federal regulatory approval, hospital officials said.
The hospital system, which includes Florida Keys Memorial Hospital and De Poo Hospital, has been jointly overseen by the state-appointed Lower Florida Keys Hospital District and a private, for-profit partnership called Kennedy Drive Investors since 1990, when the separate hospitals merged into the Lower Florida Keys Health System. HMA plans to lease both hospitals from the two organizations for 30 years, said HMA Senior Vice President Gary Bell.
Under the deal, HMA has agreed to make a $20 million lease payment to the hospital district and pay an undisclosed amount to the private investors. The chain also has agreed to pay all indigent-care costs in excess of $1.5 million during each of the first 10 years of the lease and to assume the entire indigent-care burden thereafter.
In addition, HMA will create a primary-care clinic for all residents regardless of their ability to pay for care.
HMA also owns 58-bed Fishermen's Hospital in Marathon, Fla., which is only about 50 miles away but in a separate market, Bell said.
"We're not looking to combine our two hospitals in any way," he said.
HMA last month announced it had signed a definitive agreement to buy Methodist Healthcare, a two-hospital system in Jackson, Miss. With these two acquisitions, the company will operate 35 hospitals in 11 states, primarily in the Southeast and Southwest.