FRANKLIN, Tenn.-Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville has agreed to pay $11 million to become a partner in a new company that would operate nearby 109-bed Williamson Medical Center in Franklin.
The deal, which has raised the hackles of at least one commissioner in Williamson County, calls for the creation of a new not-for-profit company that would contract with the county to manage the hospital. The operating company would assume about $20 million in bond debt, with Vanderbilt securing the debt.
Vanderbilt would pay $5 million upfront and the remaining $6 million over 36 months, plus interest, and would have a 49% interest in the company's nonreal-estate assets. Every year for the 40-year life of the management contract, the new company would pay $681,000 to the county for use of the facilities.
The hospital, which posted net income of $2.6 million in the first quarter of this year, was associated with Nashville's Baptist Hospital until Baptist withdrew from the venture last October, leaving Williamson to pay off its half of the partnership's $3.2 million debt.
The county could still opt to sell the facility, but Vanderbilt would have the right of first refusal to buy it, under the deal.
The 24-member county commission is expected to act on the proposal by early June. At least one commissioner opposes the deal.
Commissioner Charles Eades had proposed selling the hospital to the highest bidder and argues that the county would be shortchanged by the Vanderbilt proposal.
"The only thing taxpayers get from this deal is a paltry $11 million over three years and an annual rent payment of $681,000," he wrote in an open letter to taxpayers.
But the framers of the deal opposed an outright sale of the facility and are characterizing the transaction as anything but a sale.
"Selling has a certain finality to it," said Ron Joyner, chief executive officer at Williamson Medical Center. "You have no options once you sell it."
NASHVILLE-Vanderbilt University Medical Center's plan to build a new children's hospital has moved a step closer to reality with a pledge of $20 million from Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. Monroe Carell, a past chairman of Vanderbilt's children's hospital board of directors, is chairman of the campaign to build the new freestanding hospital. He's also chairman and chief executive officer of Nashville's Central Parking System Corp. The gift marks the beginning of a $50 million fund drive. The new hospital-estimated to cost $125 million to build, with another $20 million needed for additional clinic space and outpatient services- is intended to replace a children's facility built in 1980 within Vanderbilt University Hospital. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall, with a target completion date of early 2002.
NASHVILLE-A leadership team for 105-bed Metropolitan Nashville General Hospital is taking shape with the appointments of Roxane Spitzer as chief executive officer and Philip Jones as chief financial officer. The two were named by the Hospital Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. The appointments are the most recent developments in the alliance between the city, Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Spitzer was chief operating officer at Vanderbilt Medical Group Network, a professor and associate dean at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and executive director of the university's Community Health Services. Jones was financial manager for Vanderbilt's patient-care centers. The two assumed their new positions May 1. Under an agreement announced in January, Vanderbilt University Medical Center agreed to form a mergerlike partnership with Metropolitan General, the city-owned teaching facility for Meharry. The agreement called for the city to cap spending at Metropolitan Nashville at $23 million for the next three years, and for Vanderbilt to manage the facility, contracting to provide the top three managers. A national search is being conducted to fill the COO post.