HCA's Planned Acquisition of HealthONE Needs Greater Oversight, Some Argue

The Colorado Health Foundation's plan to sell its share of Denver-based HCA-HealthONE to Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA for $1.45 billion, has sparked controversy over a conversion statute, according to a Denver Post report.

HealthONE is a joint venture between non-profit Colorado Health Foundation and for-profit HCA. Some former board members want the attorney general to declare the deal a "conversion" from non-profit to for-profit status, which would give the state and community interests more power over terms of the deal.

The conversion statute is designed to ensure public benefit when a non-profit sells valuable community assets. Some are concerned that HCA will not continue programs for the uninsured or will avoid treating Medicaid patients. HCA spokeswoman Linda Kanamine said the system will continue to serve the community, according to the report.
Foundation leaders and others argue the statute does not apply because the foundation owns only 40 percent of HealthONE. Those in favor of applying the statute, however, say the partnership has been described and marketed as a 50/50 split with equal voting rights.

The attorney general will review the deal to ensure the community receives a fair price for the hospital assets. If the deal is declared a conversion, the attorney general will have greater oversight and review of the transaction.

Read the Denver Post report on HCA and the Colorado Health Foundation.

Related Articles on HCA:

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HCA to Acquire Full Ownership of Denver's HCA-HealthONE for $1.45B

HCA Suing Florida Dept. of Revenue Over Tax Dispute

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