August 8, 2013

MCMC sells again

August 8, 2013 Staff Writer Susan Wagoner

Mayes County Medical Center will be under new management with the announcement that Health Management Associates, Inc. (HMA) is being purchased by Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS).

The hospital was acquired by HMA in April 2012.

According to a joint press release, CHS will purchase HMA for around $7.6 billion, which includes nearly $3.7 billion in debt.

MCMC Administrator Doug Weaver said that despite the changes, patient care will remain the same.

“Our hospital will be managed by the new company,” Weaver said. “But we are still the community hospital, we still have a board of directors and we will still be serving the citizens of this area.”

When the merger is complete, CHS will own or manage around 209 hospitals in 29 states and would have a total bed count of at least 31,000.

“We will be a part of one of the larger healthcare companies in the United States,” Weaver said.

With Obamacare a reality and the economic challenges of the past few years, many smaller hospitals are getting under the umbrellas of larger holding companies to boost financial stability.

Weaver acknowledges the political side as well.

“They (Washington) may not listen to the voice of a small 50-bed hospital, but they will listen to the voice that has over 200 hospitals around the nation,” Weaver said.

CHS is based out of Nashville, Tenn., and “is one of the largest publicly-traded hospital companies in the United States and a leading operator of general acute care hospitals in non-urban and mid-size markets throughout the country,” according to the press release.

CHS already owns or manages three hospitals in Oklahoma: Deaconess in Oklahoma City, Ponca City Medical Center in Ponca City and Woodward Regional Hospital in Woodward.

HMA brings something to the table as well as it currently “operates 71 hospitals in 15 states with approximately 11,000 licensed beds.”

“The public will see the same care,” Weaver said. “It won’t affect patient care or the physicians.”

The merger will now go to a vote of the shareholders.

“The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2014 and is subject to approval by a 70 percent vote of HMA’s stockholders,” according to the press release.

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