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LifePoint completes purchase of financially troubled Georgia hospital

Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health has expanded its network with the acquisition of 376-bed St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, Ga.

St. Francis began looking for a partner last year, and the financially troubled hospital began exclusive discussions with a subsidiary of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems in April. However, in July, St. Francis ended talks with CHS and subsequently began negotiations with LifePoint.

With the acquisition completed, LifePoint has satisfied St. Francis' financial obligations, including paying off its loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. An audit report by HUD and the Office of Inspector General said St. Francis owed $21.4 million for failure to comply with federal regulations and a regulatory agreement connected to the financing of an expansion project at the hospital.

Under the deal, LifePoint will also make strategic capital investments to expand St. Francis' services. St. Francis will continue its existing charity care policies, and a local board of advisors will be used to ensure the local community has a voice in the governance of the hospital.

More articles on healthcare industry transactions:

18 hospital transactions and partnerships in December
CHS to acquire majority ownership of 2 IU Health hospitals
Private equity firms make a splash in healthcare M&A

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