Published: Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 6:42 p.m.
Munroe Regional Medical Center leadership will begin next week to visit hospitals owned by two companies competing to lease the local, nonprofit MRMC.
The group will charter a plane and fly to Rockledge on Wednesday to visit Wuesthoff Medical Center—Rockledge. Health Management Associates bought the 291-bed hospital near Melbourne in 2010 as part of a two-hospital deal for $145 million.
HMA is one of two health care giants vying to lease Munroe for the next 40 years as the stand-alone hospital struggles financially to remain competitive. HMA is in a partnership with Shands at the University of Florida in its move to lease Munroe.
Naples-based HMA owns or leases 70 hospitals nationwide and has affiliations with 32 hospitals in Florida, including some in the Shands at the University of Florida group. It is offering $200 million for the lease, in addition to another $150 million for improvements.
Munroe leadership, which will include hospital district trustees, board members and administration, will visit the Rockledge medical facility and meet with its staff from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Munroe said Friday that schedule is tentative and could change.
On March 13, Munroe officials will again charter a plane to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. for a two-hour meeting with medical center staff beginning 10 a.m. From there, the group will fly to Danville, Va. to visit Danville Regional Medical Center for three hours. The 250-bed facility is owned by LifePoint Hospitals, Inc.
Duke/LifePoint is also vying to lease Munroe. Boasting a regional partnership with Duke University, LifePoint is offering Marion County Hospital District trustees $138.7 million for a 40-year lease, in addition to another $150 million for master facility plan improvements. Tennessee-based LifePoint owns or leases more than 50 hospitals in 22 states, including a 99-bed facility in Palatka.
As of Friday, the Star-Banner could not learn the cost of the trips or who was paying for them.
Munroe is owned by the state-sanctioned Marion County Hospital District and the nonprofit hospital is overseen by seven trustees who are appointed by the County Commission. The trustees now lease the hospital to Munroe Regional Health System Inc., which is overseen by a 13-member board, some of whose members also are district trustees.
The hospital site visits and presentations by HMA, LifePoint and hospital staff are open to the public.
Contact Fred Hiers at firstname.lastname@example.org and 867-4157.
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