Attentus Healthcare, Franklin, Tenn., signed an agreement to take over management of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Forrest City (Ark.), according to officials for Attentus and Francis County, Ark., which owns the hospital's property and physical plant. Baptist Memorial Health Care, Memphis, Tenn., announced in May that it intended to end its management of the Forrest City hospital, a move that severs Baptist Memorial's last affiliation with an Arkansas hospital, according to a Baptist Memorial spokeswoman.
The agreement calls for Attentus to pay the county $10 million under a 30-year lease, though details are still being worked out, said Jeff Forshee, vice president of acquisitions and development for Attentus. From the county's view the deal is nearly complete and pending only some due diligence, said Gary Hughes, who sits on the Francis County's Quorum Court, akin to a city council, and was on the committee that selected Attentus. Hughes said Attentus was chosen over the other finalist, Community Health Systems, Brentwood, Tenn., because "it was a better fit" for the Forrest City community. -- by Paul Barr