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      SOLD: Bell Hospital sold to LifePoint


      Bell Hospital in Ishpeming will soon become a LifePoint Hospital. Bell's Board of Directors signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by LifePoint, but it's not finalized yet.

      It's more than just an acquisition if the agreement is finalized. LifePoint will invest $5 million, which will eliminate all of Bell Hospital's debt from construction costs and create a new charitable foundation to support local needs. There are no details about the foundation yet.

      Bell CEO Floyd Bounds sees a future full of opportunities for Bell. With additional resources from LifePoint, Bell will be able to better care for patients and staff.

      "I think it's great. I think it's an honor for Bell to be selected by LifePoint to be a part of their system," said Bounds.

      It could also mean big change for the City of Ishpeming... big dollars too. LifePoint acquiring Bell Hospital means Bell will switch from a non-profit to a for-profit and pay taxes, creating a source of new tax revenue. City officials say this will place the city in a better financial situation which will benefit residents.

      In 2012, LifePoint purchased Marquette General Hospital. Bounds says Bell's acquisition will improve cooperative efforts between the entire medical community.

      "There's some other activity in the U.P. with LifePoint and other hospitals so working together is always a whole lot easier than working against each other," Bounds said.

      LifePoint has not disclosed a purchase amount. The signed agreement has been sent to the Attorney General of Michigan, which will be reviewed in four to six weeks.


      Bell Hospital in Ishpeming has announced that it is being sold to LifePoint Hospitals, which has nearly 60 hospitals in 20 states.

      Bell Chairman Dr. Robert DellAngelo says the deal should improve health care in the Upper Peninsula. Bell says $1 million will go to a charitable foundation to "support crucial needs in the community." The hospital didn't elaborate. LifePoint is a publicly traded company based in Brentwood, Tenn. The sale means the nonprofit hospital will become a private business and pay local taxes.

      As part of LifePoint, the hospital would become a tax revenue to support the Ishpeming economy. The agreement is subject to review by the Michigan Attorney General.