ORLANDO, Fla.Florida Hospital acquired more than 100 acres near an emerging medical and research park in southeastern Orlando. Jacqueline Lorenzetti, a spokeswoman for the 1,834-bed hospital, declined an interview request last month, but Florida Hospital said in a written statement that the Lake Nona area is one of the major epicenters for medicine and science as Orlando continues on its journey to become a medical destination. The land includes 90 acres suitable for construction and another 27 acres of wetlands, which will be conserved, said Orange County Commissioner Linda Stewart, whose district includes the property. The commissioners voted unanimously to change the propertys land use from residential to industrial to allow for development, Stewart said. Florida Hospital officials did not unveil specific development plans when discussing the property acquisition, she said, but we know that its going to be research, life science, hospital, healthcare of some type.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.Mercy Health Partners, Knoxville, said it stopped admitting nonemergency patients to 266-bed Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee on July 1 with the goal of shutting the hospital by the end of the month. The closing was expected after Baptist Health System of East Tennessee and Mercy merged earlier this year. Mercy is seeking certificate-of-need approval to shift 36 beds from Baptist Hospital to the north campus of 374-bed St. Marys Medical Center, Knoxville; the north campus is in Powell, Tenn. Mercy is seeking another CON to move the open-heart surgery program from Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee to 75-bed Baptist Hospital West, Knoxville. Both projects will be considered by state regulators next month. Ultimately, the system plans to build a downtown replacement hospital on the Baptist Hospital site, subject to CON approval.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.Humana, Louisville, Ky., agreed to buy Metcare Health Plans, a Medicare Advantage subsidiary of Metropolitan Health Networks, for $14 million. Metcare provides its Medicare Advantage plan, called AdvantageCare, to about 7,000 beneficiaries in 13 Florida counties. As part of the deal, Metropolitan will expand its provider relationship with CarePlus Health Plans, Humanas Medicare Advantage plan, to include those 13 counties. We are very excited about the purchase of MHP, as it will enhance Humanas mission to provide Medicare beneficiaries broad access to affordable healthcare in Florida, said Michael Seltzer, chief executive officer of Humana Florida Senior Products, in a written statement. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval by the CMS and Florida insurance officials, and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.