RMC to buy Jacksonville hospital
by Paige Rentz
prentz@annistonstar.com
Dec 20, 2012 | 6395 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center announced today it will buy Jacksonville Medical Center from Tennessee-based Capella Healthcare. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center announced today it will buy Jacksonville Medical Center from Tennessee-based Capella Healthcare. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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Regional Medical Center today announced it is acquiring Jacksonville Medical Center, bringing two of the county’s three hospitals together under not-for-profit ownership.

RMC is buying the 89-bed Jacksonville hospital from Tennessee-based Capella Healthcare, which owns or operates 15 hospitals in seven states. Terms of the deal were not disclosed in a press release announcing the sale. Officials plan a press conference at 4 p.m. today at RMC.

Driving back from signing the papers in Birmingham, David McCormack, RMC’s chief executive, said his institution signed a confidentiality agreement and would not disclose the purchase price of the Jacksonville Medical Center.

McCormack said there will be no disruption to services or employees at Jacksonville Medical Center. “They’ll be our employees,” he said. “We’ll continue business as usual … If anything happens it will be positive.”

Jacksonville Medical Center opened in 1976 as Jacksonville Hospital under city ownership. The City Council sold the hospital in 1996 for $15.3 million and used the money to help build a new Jacksonville High School.

RMC, a 338-bed facility, opened in Anniston in 1944. Members of its board of directors are appointed by local governments.

Board chairmman Greg Kernion said the purchase fit in nicely with RMC’s strategic plan to expand and become a truly regional facility, as it has done in Roanoke and Talladega in recent years.

He said RMC officials have had a lot of conversations over the years about purchasing the Jacksonville facility. Those conversations escalated over the past six months when the hospital came available.

Last year, RMC expanded to Jacksonville with a clinic, which is set to provide services to Jacksonville State University students and employees in February, according to McCormack. Acquiring the hospital will enhance RMC’s ability to serve the JSU community, he said.

Expanding into other communities, Kernion said, ensures RMC will stay busy. “It gives us additional beds,” he said. “It’s just a good fit for us.”

Kernion also noted that RMC is a non-profit institution. “The money we make stays here,” he said, noting significant capital investments in infrastructure to improve services and the “tremendous amount of people” RMC employs in Calhoun County.

“It’s a good thing for our community,” Kernion said. “It’s a good thing for Jacksonville, and it’s a good thing for Anniston.”

According to the press release, the organizations expect the transition to take effect Jan. 1 pending regulatory approvals.

Attempts to reach officials with Capella Healthcare and Jacksonville Medical Center this afternoon were not immediately successful.
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