Talk of Sale Overshadows Expansion at National Park Medical Center

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 12:00 am  

National Park Medical Center, Hot Springs. 

The announcement of an approximately $40 million to $45 million investment came at a bad time for National Park Medical Center in Hot Springs.

Its big news was released Sept. 24, and the next day, Reuters reported that sources said the buyout firm GTCR LLC of Chicago was trying to sell Capella Healthcare of Franklin, Tenn., which is the owner of National Park.

The article said GTCR hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to find a buyer and potential purchasers included Lifepoint Hospitals Inc. of Brentwood, Tenn., IASIS Healthcare Corp. of Franklin, Tenn., and Regional Care Inc. of Scottsbluff, Neb.

The potential sale of Capella raised questions about the future of the National Park expansion project, but it appears the work is moving forward.

“We’re not going to comment on rumors and there are plenty out there right now, as there have been over the last couple of years,” Beth Wright, a spokeswoman for Capella, said in a statement to Arkansas Business.

Capella CEO Dan Slipkovich said in a statement to Arkansas Business that Capella is “constantly evaluating opportunities — like all smart health care systems across the country — to strengthen our company and our hospitals for the coming years.”

Capella also owns Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Russellville.

Capella had been in talks to buy Mercy Health’s Hot Springs operation, but that potential transaction fell apart in June.

Also on the same day that National Park made its announcement, there was other news in the Hot Springs hospital industry: Mercy Health said that St. Vincent Health made a formal bid to acquire Mercy Health Hot Springs.

In a short statement, Mercy said it is in discussions “toward a letter of intent” with Catholic Health Initiatives, which owns St. Vincent.

Capella’s Slipkovich said in the statement that the future of health care will be “collaboration and innovation. … That’s what we’re doing wherever we serve — building the strongest possible regional networks for our communities to fulfill our primary focus: Delivering the highest quality of care and preparing for the changes of reform.”

Expansion Plans



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