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A busy week of mergers and acquisitions

The last week of November was a busy one for hospital and health system mergers and acquisitions. 

Among the busiest systems was Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare. The for-profit system's Medical City Healthcare completed an acquisition of three-hospital Wise Health System in Decatur, Texas. Separately, a bankruptcy judge approved HCA's purchase of bankrupt Trinity Regional Hospital Sachse (Texas) for $41 million in a deal expected to close by the end of January. HCA Houston Healthcare completed the purchase of 11 Houston-area freestanding emergency departments from SignatureCare Emergency Center.

Another large for-profit system, Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems completed the sale of three Florida hospitals to Tampa General Hospital for $294 million. The hospitals in the deal include 120-bed Bravera Health Brooksville, 124-bed Bravera Health Spring Hill and 128-bed Bravera Health Seven Rivers. The addition of the hospitals will create a new division at Tampa General: TGH North. CHS has sold 11 hospitals to date in 2023. 

On Dec. 1, Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth completed its acquisition of two-hospital Pueblo, Colo.-based Parkview Health. The merger came later than anticipated — originally, the deal was expected to close mid-2023 but was delayed due to regulatory issues. 

St. Louis-based BJC Healthcare and Kansas City, Mo.-based Saint Luke's Health System — which signed a letter of intent to combine in May — have satisfied all regulatory reviews and reached a definitive agreement to merge. The transaction is expected to close Jan. 1, 2024. 

Sandoval Regional Medical Center in Rio Rancho, N.M., on Jan. 1 will join Albuquerque-based UNM Hospitals and change its name to University of New Mexico Sandoval Regional Medical Center-A Campus of UNM Hospital. 

Omaha-based University of Nebraska Medical Center signed a master affiliation agreement with Columbus (Neb.) Community Hospital. The partnership will focus on boosting the healthcare workforce in the region by providing more training and education opportunities to UNMC students. 

There was also big news elsewhere in healthcare, with reports that major payers Cigna and Humana are in talks to merge. The two organizations are discussing a stock-and-cash deal that could be finalized by the end of 2023. Health Care Service Corp. is also reportedly among the companies interested in buying Cigna's Medicare Advantage business.

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