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Tennessee company to discuss leasing hospital with supervisors

STARKVILLE — The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors meets Aug. 5 to discuss a 50-year lease proposal for OCH Regional Medical Center by Capella Healthcare.

The Commercial Dispatch reports the Franklin, Tenn.-based company originally inquired about the status of OCH in an April 23 letter to board members. How much the company is offering the county has not been made public.

Board of Supervisors president Orlando Trainer has said any potential transaction would have to address hospital debt. In 2008, county voters approved a $28 million bond for physical expansions and renovations to OCH. The hospital employees 600.

Trainer said Monday that he wanted to give board members time to analyze Capella’s letter so the board can move forward with the offer next month.

“No further offers have been made (since details of Capella’s April letter surfaced), but there is a level of interest out there.

“It would be incumbent on the board to acknowledge the offer, look at it and see exactly whether it would be of interest,” Trainer said. “We would not necessarily have to move forward on it, but it brings us back to the same crossroads with analysis. We can’t move forward without one.”

Cappella Healthcare was founded eight years ago and now operates 14 hospitals in six states.

“I’m of the opinion that if enough of the public wanted the hospital sold or leased, they’d have already produced enough signatures to take the issue out of our hands. I’ve yet to see any of those signatures,” said Supervisor Daniel Jackson.

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