Hospitals seek partners, but stay choosy

Many hospitals nationwide are looking for merger or acquisition partners as they jockey for positions in the new healthcare landscape, but they're not all holding fire sales. Hospitals in Kentucky and Georgia are among those seeking just the right partner despite their financial struggles.

In Louisville, Ky., Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare Inc. has rejected an unsolicited $1 billion offer from Franklin, Tenn.-based hospital giant Community Health Systems (CHS), reports Business First of Louisville. CHS offered $400 million for Jewish Hospital's assets, as well as proposing to let the hospital's foundation retain $346 million and committing to invest $500 million over 10 years in the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center, reports the Courier-Journal. However, Jewish Hospital balked at having to pay off $500 million in debt for the deal to close. The organization will continue ongoing partnership talks with the University of Louisville Hospital.

In Atlanta, a possible joint venture between competing health systems--Saint Joseph's Health System and Piedmont Healthcare--is now off the table due to what the hospitals described as "differing perspectives," reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle. But the very next day, St. Joseph's officials already started looking for another partner, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Catholic hospital will be seeking a partner that understands the "unique requirements" of its mission, said St. Joseph's CEO Kirk Wilson.

To learn more:
- read these Business First of Louisville articles: article 1 and article 2
- read this article from the Courier-Journal
- read this Atlanta Business Chronicle article
- read this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article