Bell Hospital??s board says if they're acquired by LifePoint Hospitals, the transaction could assist in possible expansions such as recruiting more physicians, investing in state-of-the-art-equipment and performing facility upgrades.
"What this deal does is preserve the existence of Bell Memorial Hospital into the future," says hospital chairman Robert DellAngelo. "Services that have been delivered here in the past will be continued to be delivered here.
"Hopefully with the association of a large healthcare provider we will actually increase the level of services that will be provided," he adds.
Leif Murphy, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for LifePoint Hospitals, has provided the following statement:
" LifePoint is collaborating with hospitals in the Upper Peninsula to create a local solution for the health care needs of patients in the region. We believe that by building a network of providers in the region we can enhance patient care, improve quality and ensure that health care services continue to be provided locally in each of our communities. LifePoint has committed to maintain or expand all service lines currently supported by Bell Hospital. We also have committed to hire 100% of the existing employees and continue to support each member of Bell??s leading medical staff."
Also included, is a one million dollar contribution from LifePoint and Bell Hospital will be debt free or have no long-term liabilities like pension plans.
The proposed acquisition follows an increase in LifePoint??s interest in Upper Peninsula healthcare services. LifePoint is pursuing a potential partnership with Portage Health in Hancock.
Marquette General Hospital became Duke LifePoint last year however the two will continue to operate independently under the two LifePoint divisions.
"Even though we will not be directly involved in the Duke LifePoint organization we will share in the Duke quality initiatives which will be to the advantage of our patients," the chairman explains.
If the deal goes through the hospital will switch to a for profit institution creating new tax revenue for Ishpeming.
LifePoint and Bell are expected to make a definitive agreement within 90 days and then the proposal will still need to be approved by the Attorney General of Michigan.
The Bell Hospital Board of Directors has announced that it has signed a letter of intent to be acquired by LifePoint Hospital.
The potential acquisition will provide Bell with additional resources to strengthen its operation and enhance its service to the Ishpeming community.
The Bell Hospital Board hired an independent advisor in October of 2012 to assist Bell in finding a strategic partner. After considering a variety of companies, LifePoint was the ultimate choice because of the shared commitment to Ishpeming and the U.P.
Being a part of LifePoint will give Bell Hospital access to financial, clinical and operational resources and support to, not only, improve quality care, but to continue to recruit and retain needed physicians. It will also be a chance to invest in state of the art equipment and upgrades to the existing facility.
With LifePoint being a for-profit organization, Bell Hospital and its property will add to the city of Ishpeming's tax roll.
The letter of intent with LifePoint Hospital is a non-binding agreement that authorizes Bell Hospital and LifePoint to move forward with the steps to pursue the proposed acquisition.
The process is projected to take 60 to 90 days. After this period, a definite agreement will be reached. The proposed transaction will be subject to review and approval by Michigan's Attorney General.