Four not-for-profit hospitals would gain for-profit owners under two separate deals. In the first, for-profit Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., reached a definitive agreement to acquire three hospitals from Bon Secours Health System, Marriottsville, Md., a Roman Catholic chain. Terms were not disclosed. Bon Secours previously had announced the sale to HMA of two of the hospitals -- in Port Charlotte, Fla., and Venice, Fla. -- and included the third hospital, 133-bed Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital, Norton, Va., in its announcement today. The deal, expected to be completed by March 31, 2005, would leave Bon Secours with 16 hospitals and HMA with 56 hospitals in 15 states.
De Queen (Ark.) Regional Medical Center appears to be close to finding a buyer, for-profit JCE Health Group, after a previous deal with Pacer Health, Miami, was declined by De Queen Regional's board. JCE, which owns 19-bed DeQuincy (La.) Memorial Hospital, offered more than $3 million in cash for 25-bed De Queen Regional, said John Matheson, JCE's owner, administrator and chief executive officer. Jay Bunyard, chairman of the De Queen Regional board, was not available for comment but confirmed the board's approval in a statement. Matheson said he would like to begin running the hospital Dec. 1. The deal needs approval from Bankruptcy Court. Modern Healthcare reported in its cover story this week that the percentage of investor-owned hospitals is at an all-time high, helped in part by sales of not-for-profit facilities. Read the story. -- by Vince Galloro and by Paul Barr