Community Health takes over Natchez hospital

By The Associated Press | Posted - Oct. 1, 2014 at 6:00 a.m.



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NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — Community Health Systems is now the sole owner of Natchez Regional Medical Center.

Ownership of the formerly county-owned hospital was transferred Monday to the national company whose affiliates own, operate or lease more than 200 hospitals in 29 states.

The Natchez Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/10ldkDy ) the approval of the federal bankruptcy court was the final stamp of approval needed to end a 15-month attempt to sell the hospital that only netted one buyer.

While the new owners will be responsible for all forward facing operations, the former board of trustees will continue to exist until the bankruptcy estate is closed.

CHS already owned Natchez Community Hospital but officials declined to discuss if they will consolidate the medical centers.

"We still will be having meetings, but they will be phone call meetings," said the Rev. LeRoy White, the chairman of NRMC's board of trustees. "We won't have any lawyer or any money, but we will continue to represent the former NRMC."

Kenneth Lefoldt, a Jackson certified public accountant, will manage the bankruptcy estate.

The hospital is being purchased at a price of $10 million.

To cover the gap between the sale price, what is needed to pay the bonds and other costs associated with the sale and bankruptcy, CHS has also agreed to pre-pay $8 million in ad valorem taxes.

NRMC is licensed for 179 beds.

It opened in 1960 as Jefferson Davis Memorial Hospital, its name at the time chosen through a contest. It was renamed in 1993.

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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The Associated Press

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