Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., is nearing completion of one acquisition in Washington state and is linked to a new deal in Pennsylvania.
The Washington State Department of Health has granted certificate-of-need approval to Community to complete its $148 million purchase of two-hospital Empire Health System, Spokane. The approval requires $80 million from the proceeds to be set aside for an independent, not-for-profit healthcare foundation. The approval also requires Community to keep its commitmentmade in the sales agreementto spend at least $100 million on capital improvements during the next five years. No closing date has been set. The deal was first announced in June 2007.
Meanwhile, Wyoming Valley Health Care System, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., said it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to sell the two-hospital system to Community for undisclosed terms. The system includes 333-bed Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and 96-bed First Hospital Wyoming Valley, a psychiatric hospital in Wilkes-Barre.
As part of a future definitive sales agreement, Community will be expected to commit to significant capital improvements, according to a release. The deal will be subject to regulatory approvals, including the consent of the state attorney generals office. A Community spokeswoman declined to comment, citing the companys policy to not comment on nonbinding agreements. The company operates 117 hospitals in 28 states, including nine hospitals in Pennsylvania. -- by Vince Galloro