WASHINGTON—Maj. Walter Reed's sword was symbolically handed over to the Navy at a ceremony marking the closure of the Army hospital bearing his name, where hundreds of thousands of the nation's war wounded have been treated for more than a century. Most recently, more than 18,000 troops from the current wars have gone there for treatment. The hospital opened in 1909 and has a storied history of care to military members, their families and presidents. President Dwight Eisenhower died there, as did Gens. John J. Pershing and Douglas MacArthur. In 2007, that reputation was scarred by a scandal about substandard living conditions on its grounds for wounded troops in outpatient care that led to improvements in care for the wounded throughout the military. Two years before the scandal, a government commission charged with closing military bases voted to close Walter Reed, saying the facilities needed to be modernized. The main hospital in use today opened in 1977. The hospital's operations are being moved in August to new and upgraded facilities at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and at Fort Belvoir, Va. The price tag for the new facilities is $2.6 billion. The hospital in Bethesda will be called the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and it's because of that new relationship that Reed's sword was handed during the ceremony from Army Maj. Gen. Carla Hawley-Bowland to Navy Rear Adm. Matthew Nathan. Reed was an Army physician whose research proved that yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes.
Regional News/South: Reed's sword symbolically handed over to Navy, and other news
HOUSTON—LifeCare Holdings has dropped a Houston long-term acute-care hospital from its acquisition of eight LTAC hospitals from HealthSouth Corp. in order to avoid having the deal bogged down by a federal investigation. HealthSouth, Birmingham, Ala., disclosed in a June filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company received a subpoena from HHS' inspector general's office seeking documents related to patient admissions, length of stay and discharge matters. According to a news release issued by Plano, Texas-based LifeCare, both companies agreed that removing HealthSouth Hospital of Houston “provides the best opportunity to move forward with the transaction in a timely and efficient manner.” The deal remains on track to close in the third quarter, as noted when the agreement was announced in May. The total consideration for the transaction has been reduced to $117.5 million from $120 million for facilities in Sarasota, Fla.; Farmerville, La.; Homer, La.; Ruston, La.; Las Vegas; Mechanicsburg, Pa.; and Monroeville, Pa.
TULSA, Okla.—The Federal Trade Commission has cleared the sale of two Oklahoma hospitals to Ardent Health Services, Nashville, according to an FTC announcement. The seller is Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn. The companies announced the deal last month; terms have not been disclosed. Ardent, a privately held company in which private-equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe holds a majority interest, will bolster its Hillcrest HealthCare System in Tulsa with the addition of the two Community hospitals: 160-bed SouthCrest Hospital, Tulsa, and 89-bed Claremore (Okla.) Regional Hospital. Last year, Community outbid Ardent in a bankruptcy auction to acquire three-hospital Forum Health, Youngstown, Ohio.
HENDERSON, N.C.—Duke LifePoint Healthcare has signed a definitive agreement to acquire an 80% interest in 102-bed Maria Parham Medical Center, Henderson, N.C., according to a news release. DLP Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Durham, N.C., and LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., originally announced its intention to form a joint venture with Maria Parham in February. DLP will pay enough for its 80% interest in Maria Parham to pay off the hospital's debt and still have $30 million in proceeds leftover for a community foundation, according to the release. As of March 31, Maria Parham had $46.6 million in debt outstanding, including the amounts due on the debt in the next 12 months, according to a quarterly report the hospital made to bondholders in May. The deal still requires the approval of the North Carolina attorney general's office. Maria Parham would be the first hospital to be acquired by the Duke-LifePoint joint venture. It has another agreement to acquire a hospital in North Carolina and already has acquired the cardiac-catheterization business in the state formerly owned by MedCath Corp., Charlotte.
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