HCA to pay $434M for failure to fund promised hospital improvements

Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America has been ordered to pay nearly $434 million to the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City for allegedly failing to fulfill pledges it made when it bought several hospitals in 2003, according to a KCUR report.

HCA acquired Health Midwest, a 12-hospital system based in Kansas City, Mo., in 2003. As part of the deal, HCA agreed to spend at least $450 million in capital improvements over the first five years it owned the hospitals.

The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City sued HCA in 2009, claiming HCA had reneged on its commitments regarding the capital improvements. Circuit Judge John Torrence found HCA was liable for failing to make capital and charitable contributions it undertook as part of the acquisition of the hospitals from Health Midwest, according to the report.

Judge Torrence handed down an order Wednesday declaring HCA liable for $239.4 million over its failure to fund promised hospital improvements, $167.1 million in prejudgment interest and more than $27 million in legal fees and expenses.

An HCA spokeswoman, Christine Hamele, told KCUR that HCA intends to appeal the judgment.

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