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Meridian Behavioral Health Systems to acquire Highland Hospital

Charleston, W.Va.-based HHA Inc., the parent company of Charleston, W.Va.-based Highland Hospital, approved a definitive agreement to sell various facilities to Brentwood, Tenn.-based Meridian Behavioral Health Systems Aug. 11, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The agreement includes the sale of Highland Hospital, an 80-bed psychiatric facility; Highland Health Center, a 16-bed psychiatric resident treatment facility for children and adolescents; and Process Strategies, an integrated behavioral healthcare and pharmacy services outpatient provider. All the facilities are in Charleston.

Employees at the three organizations will be offered positions at MBHS as part of the agreement, Highland Hospital CEO Cynthia Persily, PhD, RN, told the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The organizations are also required to apply for a certificate of need under state law. However, Ms. Persily said the institutions will apply for an exemption because they qualify as behavioral health facilities and are therefore allowed to apply as "financially distressed hospitals," the report states.

The transaction is pending regulatory approval. Officials at both institutions said they expect to complete the transaction by the end of September.

Ms. Persily said HHA began the search for a potential buyer in March 2016, according to the report.

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