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Munroe group mulls options

More site visits this week

Staff writer

For many Munroe Regional Medical Center officials who met Monday, it all came down to a single question: Was there $60 million worth of difference between the two healthcare giants wanting to lease their public hospital?

That’s the difference between offers from Shands/Health Management Associates and Duke LifePoint, both wanting to lease the Marion County 421-bed non-profit hospital. Based on how the lease is paid, the difference could be as much as about $63 million.

“Is there anything that would overcome the $63 million offer?” asked Randy Klein, a Munroe Strategic Options Work Group member.

The Strategic Options Work Group was created by the Marion County Hospital District trustees to advise trustees which healthcare company would be best to lease the hospital for the next 40 years.

The money question came after hospital administrators, doctors, trustees and Work Group members earlier this month visited HMA-owned Wuesthoff Medical Center-Rockledge in Florida and Duke University Medical Center in Durham and LifePoint’s Danville Regional Medical Center in Danville, Va.

HMA is offering Marion County Hospital $200 million to lease the hospital, with an additional $200 million commitment to make improvements to the facility. Duke LifePoint is offering $138.7 million with a similar $200 million commitment.

Work Group members, some of whose members are also trustees, discussed their HMA and Duke LifePoint visits Monday, citing corporate differences and similarities.

Munroe officials will visit two more hospitals --- one from each group --- this week.

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