LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., emerged last week as the winning bidder for 132-bed Logan (W.Va.) General Hospital, snatching the facility from the clutches of for-profit rival Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., at a bankruptcy auction.
Logan General filed for bankruptcy protection in October 1998. The hospital's finances were ruined by the improper diversion of hospital funds, some of which were used to fund a shopping mall.
LifePoint will pay $87.5 million for the hospital, a bid approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston, W.Va., and Logan's board, said W. Bradley Sorrells, a lawyer for the hospital. HMA's last bid was about $85.6 million. Logan's board initially chose a $72.1 million bid from HMA earlier this year after hearing presentations from Community Health Systems, Brentwood, HMA and LifePoint. Community never resurfaced as a bidder in court, but LifePoint filed a bid of more than $76 million to trigger the auction. LifePoint said it expects the deal to close by the end of this month, which would give the chain 25 hospitals.
C. David Morrison, 56, the hospital's former administrator, was convicted in federal court in November 2000 on 23 counts related to the diversion scheme and sentenced to eight years and one month in prison (April 30, 2001, p. 22). Morrison began serving his sentence on June 28 at the federal prison in Ashland, Ky., according to the U.S. attorney's office in Charleston. The U.S. Supreme Court last month declined to review his case.