Thursday, June 24, 2010

HCA plans to buy Miami hospital

HCA Inc. said it has a letter of intent to buy a money-losing Catholic nonprofit hospital in Miami, continuing the recent pick up in acquisition activity that involve Nashville area for-profit hospital chains.
Buying 473-bed Mercy Hospital would expand HCA’s presence in South Florida that includes operations in Kendall and Aventura in Miami-Dade County.

“The addition of Mercy…creates a corridor of care that enables us to better serve the community,” said Michael G. Joseph, the president of HCA’s East Florida division.

Mercy is expected to keep its name and Catholic identity under ownership of HCA. No abortions would be performed. Daily masses will continue at its chapel.

The deal comes as HCA prepares for an initial public offering that would mark its return as a publicly traded company. Other Nashville area hospital chains with acquisitions pending include LifePoint Hospitals and Vanguard Health Systems.

Mercy had a 2009 loss of $3.4 million on operating revenues of $205 million, The Miami Herald reported.

Financial terms of the HCA-Mercy deal weren’t disclosed, but it should close as soon as possible pending a definitive agreement and approvals from regulators. HCA’s East Florida unit has 12 hospitals.
Getahn Ward covers the business of health care. He can be reached at 615-726-5968 or at

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