HealthSouth Corp., Birmingham, Ala., entered exclusive negotiations to sell its $300 million, "digital" hospital in its corporate hometown to a partnership of Baptist Health System and Samford University, both based in Birmingham.
A timetable for negotiations was not disclosed.
HealthSouth has debated whether to shed the acute-care hospital, intended to showcase state-of-the-art information technology, since federal investigations began in spring 2003 into alleged multibillion-dollar accounting fraud at the company.
HealthSouth also plans to sell the Birmingham hospital that the digital facility was intended to replace as part of a strategy to focus on its core rehabilitation services.
In a news release, Baptist Health President and Chief Executive Officer Beth O'Brien said, "The digital hospital represents a tremendous opportunity ... as we fulfill our healthcare mission and ministry in the community."