Judge Orders HCA to Pay Health Care Foundation $161.9M

Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America has been ordered to pay the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City (Mo.) $161.9 million to fulfill obligations it accepted when it bought Health Midwest in Kansas City, according to a Kansas City Business Journal report.

In 2009, HCF filed a lawsuit against HCA's Kansas City arm, HCA Midwest Health System, claiming it built new hospitals — Lee's Summit (Mo.) Medical Center and Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence, Mo. — rather than following through on improvements to Health Midwest facilities as was promised in a 2003 sale agreement. HCF was created from proceeds of the Health Midwest sale to fund community health programs.

According to the report, HCA was supposed to contribute $450 million to Health Midwest over five years. If HCA failed to do so, it was supposed to pay the shortfall to the foundation. HCA and HCF have disagreed on how to interpret this element of the agreement.

Even though the judge has ordered HCA to make an immediate payment, HCA plans to appeal the ruling. It believes it upheld the agreement by maintaining high-quality care for the community by building two new hospitals rather than putting money into repairs on old facilities, according to the report.

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