KentuckyOne Health may be nearing sales on several of its struggling hospitals in Louisville and eastern Kentucky.
The system, a division of Catholic Health Initiatives, announced Tuesday it signed a letter of intent with Appalachian Regional Healthcare to negotiate the sale of St. Joseph Martin, a critical-access hospital in Martin, Ky. KentuckyOne Health announced in May it was selling nine hospitals, including St. Joseph Martin, and provider practices in Louisville and Martin amid financial struggles.
Separately, KentuckyOne Health and CHI announced Tuesday they're in negotiations to sell the other eight hospitals and the provider practices to the private asset management firm BlueMountain Capital Management. The systems cautioned the negotiation process is in the opening stages, and any deal would be subject to regulatory approval.
The agreement between Appalachian Regional and KentuckyOne Health would allow for the continuation of local ownership and operation of St. Joseph Martin, which opened in 1947. The companies did not disclose any financial terms of a prospective deal.
Not-for-profit Appalachian Regional operates 11 hospitals, multispecialty physician practices, home health agencies, medical equipment stores and pharmacies. It serves an area of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia with a population of 350,000 people.
Hospital officials said in a statement that Appalachian Regional has pledged to maintain current services, jobs and long-term investment in quality care performance, clinical and employee development, and community outreach. Kathy Stumbo, the hospital's president, wrote that Appalachian Regional is a well-respected health and wellness leader in eastern Kentucky.
Appalachian Regional "knows this community and has the experience and insight to continue improvements and investments to support patients, physicians, employees and all in this region," she said.
KentuckyOne Health's board of directors voted unanimously to enter negotiations with Appalachian Regional.