How Mercy Health Systems Chose Health Management Associates

Mercy Health Systems (St. Mary's) has informed employees that they are considering a couple of different proposals to sell Knox County's hospitals and that a decision is likely in the fall.

One of the proposals was believed to be from Community Health Systems, the second largest hospital company in the country. In the meantime, Community Health has been trying to take over Tenant Healthcare Corp. with a $3.3 billion offer. Tenant has been resisting the hostile takeover and has filed a lawsuit alleging that Community Health puts people in the hospital for needless stays and is bilking the government and insurance companies.

The lawsuit has now attracted the attention of the Department of Justice, federal prosecutors and the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services. They have launched their own investigation.

After that news broke last week, the Mercy board voted Friday and announced Monday they would pursue an exclusive negotiation with Health Management Associates, a Florida-based company that specializes in hospital turnarounds.