What difference does $60 million make when you are determined to buy a hospital in Florida?
Duke LifePoint, a joint venture of Duke University and Brentwood-based LifePoint Hospitals, has increased its bid for Ocala-based Munroe Regional Medical Center from $138.7 million to $200 million, according to the Star Banner, Ocala’s daily newspaper.
The current $200 million bid is equal to Health Management Associates’ offer for the 421-bed hospital. HMA is a for-profit provider based in Florida. The Star Banner article (read more here) reports the hospital’s management was alarmed at the more than $60 million discrepancy between the bids and was seriously considering the bid from HMA, despite having the opportunity to work in a partnership with a high-profile national name such as Duke.
"We believe this potential relationship is an excellent match for both of our organizations, and we have a great opportunity to work together to enhance healthcare delivery throughout Marion County and the surrounding region,” Diane Huggins, LifePoint's vice president of corporate communications, wrote in a statement to the Star Banner. “The increase in the offer made by Duke LifePoint demonstrates our confidence in our ability to add significant value to secure the future success of the hospital.”
LifePoint (Ticker: LPNT) owns or leases nearly 60 hospitals in 20 states, but only one in Florida. HMA owns or operates 22 hospitals throughout Florida.
As legislation that would make it easier for HCA to grow its trauma center blueprint in Florida moves forward, nonprofit hospital advocates are airing television attack ads against for-profit chains. Some predict a showdown in the Florida state legislature as early as next week.
Opponents of allowing for greater ease of trauma unit expansions say too much growth in this arena would be bad for patients. They contend it could lead to a lower quality of care and increased costs at existing trauma centers.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (pictured), a founder of Columbia HCA (now HCA), and the state health department support HCA in the matter. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health is currently writing new rules for trauma centers.
For more, go here.
Local managing general agency TIS Nashville has brought on board a Florida peer. Both firms market policies that cover transportation providers when they're not on an actual job. The addition of ICS Jacksonville brings new products to the TIS table.
Regional engineering firm Smith Seckman Reid has relocated a group leader from its Houston office to Florida, where he will oversee the firm's offices in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Sarasota and Tampa. Randy Rogers joined employee-owned SSR in 1989.
A Florida judge has ruled that state lawmakers need to give their full approval via the normal legislative process to the privatization of prison health care in several parts of the state. The ruling puts on ice a five-year, $229 million contract the state had signed with Brentwood-based Corizon, the company formed last year when the former America Service Group merged with a St. Louis-based peer. Corizon and state officials say they will appeal the ruling, which said a 14-member budget commission was not entitled to change policy as it did in September by shifting funding for health care at 40 prisons.
SEE ALSO: Corizon's big Florida contract in limbo from just before Thanksgiving