CHS finalizes deal for Mississippi hospital

Facility filed for bankruptcy in March

Community Health Systems announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a 179-bed hospital in Natchez, Mississippi — where it already runs a smaller facility.

Terms of the deal to purchase the Natchez Regional Medical Center, which in March filed for protection from its creditors, were not disclosed in a release. CHS operates 12 hospitals in Mississippi, including the nearby Natchez Community Hospital, and in April signed a letter of intent to buy Natchez Regional.

The Franklin-based company was affiliated with Natchez Regional for more than a decade when CHS' Quorum Health Resources managed the hospital. The facility also filed for bankruptcy in 2009 — later accusing Quorum of fraud and negligence — and the pending acquisition is subject to approval of the bankruptcy court and an auction.

"We look forward to completing this potential acquisition and working with the medical staffs and employees of both hospitals in Natchez in a coordinated approach to providing quality care for local residents," said Wayne Smith, CHS chairman, president and CEO.

Shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) closed last week at $42.69. Year to date, they're up 9 percent.