A Medical Device Daily

LifePoint Hospitals (Brentwood, Tennessee) reported the completion of the acquisition by a company subsidiary of Rockdale Medical Center (RMC; Conyers, Georgia) and related assets for a purchase price of $80 million. RMC is a 138-bed hospital with net revenues of about $120 million.

LifePoint is focused on providing healthcare services in non-urban communities in 17 states, Of the company's 47 hospitals, 44 are in communities where LifePoint Hospitals is the sole community hospital provider.

LHC Group (Lafayette, Louisiana), one of the largest providers of home nursing services in the U.S., reported the completion of its previously reported home health joint venture with the Ochsner Health System (New Orleans), allowing both organizations to better serve 1.6 million residents in southeast Louisiana (Medical Device Daily, Jan. 12, 2009).

The joint venture includes an LHC Group purchase of 75% of two home health agencies currently owned by Ochsner, in Kenner and Raceland, Louisiana, and the Ochsner purchase of 25% of three home health agencies, currently owned by LHC Group, in Houma, Lutcher and Hammond, Louisiana.

LHC Group operates 211 home nursing locations in 17 states.

Ochsner Health System is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system dedicated to patient care, research and education. The system includes seven hospitals and more than 35 health centers located throughout Southeast Louisiana.

In other dealmaking news:

• Community Health Systems (CMS; Franklin, Tennessee) reported that a subsidiary has acquired Siloam Springs Memorial Hospital (Siloam Springs, Arkansas), a 74-bed, acute-care hospital. The transaction is structured as a short-term lease of the existing facility and includes a replacement facility to be built by the end of the fourth year of the lease term.

Siloam Springs Memorial Hospital is located near the Oklahoma border about 30 miles northwest of Fayetteville, Arkansas. It becomes the eighth Community Health Systems-affiliated facility in Arkansas and the fourth in the northwestern section of the state. Siloam Springs Memorial Hospital offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services.

CMS is the largest publicly-traded hospital company in the U.S. and a leading operator of general acute-care hospitals in non-urban and mid-size markets throughout the country. Through its subsidiaries, the company currently owns, leases or operates about 119 hospitals in 29 states, with an aggregate of about 17,600 licensed beds.

Representatives of Bannock County, Idaho, the Portneuf Health Care Foundation and Legacy Hospital Partners reported that they have signed definitive agreements to form a joint venture that will construct and operate a new regional medical center on the hospital's east campus under the name Portneuf Medical Center (PMC; Pocatello, Idaho).

In November's general election, 78% of Bannock County's voters approved placing the assets of Portneuf Medical Center into the joint venture. Pursuant to the agreements, Portneuf Health Care Foundation will own a minority share of the new joint venture, but governance of the entity will be on a 50-50, "block voting" basis.

Steve Hadley, chair of the Bannock County Commission, said he believes Bannock County will benefit from the arrangement. "This joint venture will result in better health care for Bannock County and eastern Idaho. We're achieving what the commissioners had in mind when we started this. Bannock County will have a debt-free, state-of-the-art regional medical center that will be the leading medical facility in eastern Idaho. And we're doing it without giving up local control or having to sacrifice what the community values in a hospital."

PMC is an acute-care facility with 250 licensed beds, and has served the regional healthcare needs of southeast Idaho since 1907.