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MUSC wants to spend up to $137 million on 4 hospitals

January 29, 2019

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Medical University of South Carolina wants to spend up to $137 million on four rural hospitals.

The Post and Courier reports that online records it reviewed offer the first look at the price MUSC is willing to pay for the hospitals as the system works to finalize a deal.

MUSC must ask permission from the State Fiscal Accountability Authority to proceed with the purchases from Community Health Systems.

If the transaction proceeds, it will mark the first time that MUSC buys other hospitals.

The hospitals include facilities in Lancaster, Chester, Mullins and Florence. The acquisition will add more than 2,000 employees to MUSC, which already employs close to 14,000.

MUSC Health CEO Dr. Patrick Cawley said the amount represents the most MUSC would set aside for the purchase.

“It is not a final sale amount, more of an ‘up to’ amount,” Cawley said in a statement. “We remain on track in our discussions and negotiations and anticipate closing on this sale at the end of February.”

Community Health Systems is a publicly traded conglomerate based in Tennessee that owns, operates or leases more than 100 hospitals. Once the sale with MUSC finalizes, Community Health will be out of South Carolina entirely. The company also recently sold the two Mary Black Health System hospitals in the Upstate for $70 million to Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.

The State Fiscal Accountability Authority is the state agency tasked with approving the issuance of bonds. That approval must be granted before MUSC can close the deal.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com

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