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Natchez Regional Medical Center Has 3 Potential Bidders

Three healthcare organizations have agreed to participate in a "stalking horse" bidding process concerning the sale of Natchez (Miss.) Regional Medical Center, according to a Natchez Democrat report.

The stalking horse process will involve Healthcare Management Partners — which  Adams County hired in July to represent the hospital during the sale process — negotiating a price with one of the interested parties, according to the report. That price will become the base bid for Natchez Regional's sale, and the stalking horse will automatically acquire the hospital if no one makes an offer greater than the base bid.

Once the stalking horse is identified, the Adams County board of supervisors must ratify the agreement. Then the county will have 30 days to advertise the hospital's sale. The stalking horse's identity will be revealed once the board ratifies its agreement with the hospital's representatives.

The names of the potential bidders haven't been disclosed. Health Management Associates, the parent company of Natchez (Miss.) Community Hospital, a competing hospital in the town, is excluded from the stalking horse process, although it could still bid once Natchez Regional officially goes up for sale, according to the report.

In May, the Adams County board of supervisors announced they hoped to persuade the hospital's board of trustees to sell it after three potential buyers expressed interest. Adams County, which owns the hospital, failed in its last attempt to sell Natchez in 2008, with the hospital declaring bankruptcy the next year. After the county board of supervisors announced in April that a buyer had shown interest in the hospital, officials said there was a preference for a for-profit buyer to take over to add to the rural county's tax base.

County supervisors held a public hearing in August seeking feedback on the hospital's sale. Several public hearings are required by law before a sale can be finalized.

More Articles on Hospital Sales:
County Seeks Public Input on Natchez Regional Sale
Natchez Regional Medical Center Back on the Market
Mississippi Hospital Board Considers Sale 

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