HMA in Talks to Buy CHP Tennessee Hospitals

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , May 3, 2011

The announcement ends several months of speculation regarding new ownership of the Knoxville-area hospitals. In November 2010, then CEO David Jimenez announced his pending retirement and revealed that discussions with the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville had ended without an agreement. At that time Jimenez said a request for proposal would be issued to other perspective point venture partners.

In the same announcement, Jimenez said the health system's services were being reimbursed at tens of millions of dollars less per year than the system received in 2007 and added that "without an infusion of additional capital we will not be able to make needed investments and, at the same time, pay off our debt."

MHP-Tennessee was formed by the merger of CHP-owned St. Mary's Health System and Baptist Health System of East Tennessee in 2008. In June 2010, the MHP board announced that it was considering the sale of the Mercy Medical Center West campus. At that time, the board said in a statement, that although "Mercy has a strategic plan for the development of the West campus, the board action reflects the realities related to healthcare reform and acknowledges the need to balance the capital needs of continued development at Mercy West with the needs of other Mercy facilities."

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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