IU Health is entering into an exclusive negotiating period with Community Health Systems. That company is based in Tennessee.
Non-binding agreements have been signed to begin a due-diligence period. If, after three or four months, Community Health Systems is satisfied, the IU Health LaPorte brand of hospitals could become an affiliate of a company created between the two. IU Health Starke President Craig Felty says this is a good thing.
“This is just really an exciting time for our organization and our patients,” says Felty.
After receiving several offers, IU Health LaPorte’s board decided on the change in ownership would be a positive step. IU Health will be a minor partner, but CHS will be the majority owner of the company.
During the negotiating period, things such as the name of the hospital in Knox could remain the same, or it could change.
Northwest Indiana is considered to have unique healthcare needs. A survey was conducted of IU Health’s employees to identify objectives for the creation of a new partnership. Felty says this wasn’t a fire sale.
“We have a valuable asset here and we need somebody who is able to help us increase the asset that we have here for our patients and broaden our work that we can do for our patients,” says Felty.
Representatives of IU Health say they have a plan for growth that includes physician recruitment, and even a possible facility expansion.
More information on the agreement specifics are expected over the next few months.