MedCath (Nasdaq: MDTH) plans to sell off another heart hospital

MedCath's (NASDAQ: MDTH) selling spree continues. The heart hospital operator announced this week that it has agreed to sell Texsan Heart Hospital to Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio, which is a 50-50 partnership between Methodist Healthcare Ministries and HCA--a leading hospital provider with more than 160 hospitals and over 100 surgery centers in 20 states and the U.K. The transaction is expected to close by March 31, 2011, subject to regulatory approvals. Terms were not revealed.

The continuing sell-off should come as no surprise. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company apparently saw the writing on the wall after it received a crushing blow from healthcare reform: After Section 6001 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act set limits on the development and expansion of physician-owned hospitals, MedCath announced that it would try to sell either the entire company or its assets. Apparently no one wanted the whole company, so it has been selling assets bit by bit.

The agreement is MedCath's fifth since that announcement. In the last month, MedCath completed sales involving interests in Arizona Heart Hospital, Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota, Heart Hospital of Austin and a minority ownership of its MedCath Partners division held in Southwest Arizona Heart and Vascular, LLC.

Texsan Heart Hospital opened in January 2004 and has won kudos from a variety of organizations for quality care, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, HealthGrades and Consumers' Checkbook.

MedCath operates seven hospitals with a total of 653 licensed beds.

To learn more:
- here's the MedCath press release

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