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Locals voice concerns as Arizona nonprofit hospital weighs LifePoint merger

LifePoint Health met with Yuma, Ariz., community members Oct. 20 as it hopes to acquire nonprofit Yuma Regional Medical Center, a move some are concerned would be bad news for the community, KYMA reported Oct. 20.

"They are in fact a nationally traded company, they have stockholders, we have stockholders too, those are all the people sitting here," John Nelson, a community member, said.

Yuma Regional signed a non-binding letter of intent in July announcing its partnership with Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint, which is owned by the private equity firm Apollo Management Group. It still needs to be approved by the Hospital District Board One.

Ron Clark, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Yuma Regional, told KYMA in an Oct. 19 article that joining a for-profit system could mean less money going directly to the hospital and the community. Instead, LifePoint may decide to give those resources to investors and shareholders, he said.

A spokesperson for LifePoint told Becker's the system actually will be investing in the community.

"We are honored to be selected as the potential partner for Yuma Regional Medical Center. Our goal is to help YRMC accelerate the great work they are doing today by expanding access to care locally in Yuma, enhancing quality and patient safety, and investing in the hospital and community in meaningful ways," LifePoint said in their statement. "In fact, through the joint venture, in excess of $300 million would be invested in the Yuma community over the span of 10 years, including key investments in facilities, services, technology and equipment, as well as in YRMC employees and providers. We are working alongside the YRMC team to appropriately proceed through the transaction process, get to know the community, and create a strong foundation for the future."

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