Norman (Okla.) Regional Health System's last-minute bid proved to be the winning offer for cash-strapped Moore (Okla.) Medical Center.
The system, which runs 324-bed Norman Regional Hospital, purchased the 26-bed, acute-care facility for $34.25 million. Originally considered the second-place bidder for the facility, Norman Regional officials' new offer came in more than $2 million higher than the $32 million bid by Integris Health System.
Norman Regional Health System President and Chief Executive Officer David Whitaker said the company will close the deal on Wednesday. ''Once we close and take possession, those employees will be part of our system,'' Whitaker said.
Built in 2005 and opened later that year, the Moore Medical Center never generated a profit. Constructed with a multimillion-dollar loan underwritten by a federal Housing and Urban Development program, the hospital was part of the Schuster Group, the Oklahoma City healthcare company that built and managed the facility.
Moore Medical filed for bankruptcy protection Oct. 28, 2006, and the Schuster Group sought bankruptcy protection for itself a short time later. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge T.M. Weaver, who had been overseeing the case, approved the sale. -- by the Associated Press