HCA goes on spending spree

It's been an expensive last few months for Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare as the hospital operator continues to invest in large projects and multiple transactions. 

With a market share goal of 29% by 2030, the company, which operates more than 180 hospitals, unveiled a major plan Nov. 9 to invest $5.3 billion into pre-approved projects, including $1 billion for 62 freestanding emergency departments and ambulatory surgery centers.  An additional 200 projects are still being considered.

Bradenton-based HCA Florida Blake Hospital broke ground Dec. 5 on its second freestanding ED, a project totaling $15 million in investment, with plans to be up and running by summer 2024. The system's Houston division also recently bought 11 Houston-area freestanding EDs, now named HCA Houston ER 24/7, from SignatureCare Emergency Center.  

Acquisitions have also been top of mind for the system. In early December, HCA's Medical City Healthcare in Dallas completed the purchase of Decatur, Texas-based Wise Health System, renaming its three Texas hospitals Medical City Decatur, Medical City Argyle and Medical City Surgical Hospital | Alliance in Fort Worth. Exclusive acquisition talks between the two systems were first reported in January.

Separately, in a $41 million deal expected to close by the end of January, the system is scooping up bankrupt Trinity Regional Hospital Sachse (Texas). 

Urgent care facilities are another hot shopping spot for HCA Healthcare, which currently operates around 2,300 outpatient sites, 268 of them urgent care. In May, the system shared plans to acquire 41 urgent care centers from FastMed in Texas, including 19 FastMed and 22 MedPost urgent care centers in major Texas cities like Dallas and Austin. While the transaction was expected to close in summer 2023, there has been no further word on its status. 

Becker's has reached out to HCA Healthcare for comment on its recent projects and acquisitions, along with the transaction status of the 41 FastMed urgent care centers in Texas. 

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