|Ocala, FL -
February 12, 2013|
Ocala, FL — Trustees of Marion County's Medical District on Monday began the process of choosing between two private healthcare companies to take over Munroe Regional Medical Center's operations.
Trustees have been looking for private companies to lease the hospital out to ever since voters struck down a proposed increase in the millage rate last November. The hike in property taxes would have kept the hospital as a public, not-for-profit hospital.
There are two companies up for consideration, one of which is Duke LifePoint Healthcare, which is based out of Tennessee and works closely with the Duke University Health System. The other company is Health Management Associates, or HMA, which is based out of Naples. HMA also has a strong affiliation with Shands Healthcare.
Each company vows to invest at least $150 million in improvements to the medical center if they are chosen. LifePoint says it will keep all of the core services currently available at Munroe if it is chosen, while HMA says it plans to evaluate Munroe's services and "adapt them to change."
Both companies say they also will not make any additional layoffs for at least a year following the takeover.
Trustees hope to settle on one of the two companies within the next few weeks, with a contract signed by the beginning of next year.