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CHS responds to Florida hospital's divestiture request

Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems doesn't plan to terminate its lease of Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West, Fla., early, according to FlKeys News.

Lower Keys Medical Center was one of the 71 hospitals CHS acquired from Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates in 2014, and the hospital operator's 30-year lease of LKMC expires in 2030.

In December, Lower Florida Keys Hospital District board chairman John Padget sent a letter to CHS CEO Wayne Smith, asking if the hospital operator would consider breaking the contract early. Mr. Padget made the request after Key West Commissioner Sam Kaufman demanded in August that Lower Keys Medical Center revert to public ownership and the city attorney launch an investigation into the hospital over allegations of aggressive billing practices and poor care quality.

Paul Smith, president of Division V operations at CHS, responded to Mr. Padget's request Dec. 29. "We would like to see a period of goodwill and cooperation between the district and medical center before considering changes in the parties' existing relationship," he wrote, according to the report. "We have no interest in terminating the lease early."

The Lower Keys Hospital District board will discuss the matter further at its Jan. 30 meeting, according to the report.

More articles on healthcare industry transactions:

UnityPoint Health-Waterloo to buy bankrupt Iowa hospital
Tenet to sell multiple hospitals, home health business
Wellmont acquires Takoma Regional Hospital

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