Highmark gains control in $200M hospital deal

As part of its plan to create a statewide health information network, Highmark said it's acquiring a controlling interest in a Pennsylvania community hospital in a "strategic partnership" valued at more than $200 million.

Under the deal with Jefferson Regional Medical Center, which was announced Tuesday, Highmark will invest $75 million to help Jefferson improve its community health and wellness care and assume $200 million in Jefferson's liabilities, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Highmark also will support Jefferson's new, state-of-the-art emergency department and assume additional financial liabilities, including payroll expenses for employed doctors, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

In return for its financial investments, Highmark effectively will control Jefferson's Board of Directors, gaining the right to 75 percent of the board's votes, the Essential Public Radio reported.

However, Highmark Interim CEO J. Robert Baum said the deal isn't a takeover or merger. "This is not a rescue. This is instead part of a growth strategy we both have," Baum said.

Both Highmark and Jefferson are hoping to position the community hospital as the "southern hub of the Highmark provider network," Jefferson CEO John Dempster said.

To learn more:
- read the Pittsburgh Business Times article
- see the Essential Public Radio article
- check out the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article