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Anderson completes agreement to purchase Riley

On Dec. 28, Meridian’s Anderson Regional Medical Center and Riley Hospital reached an agreement for Anderson to acquire Riley, pending regulatory approval.

Anderson’s pursuit of Riley officially began Dec. 1, when the hospital filed with the Mississippi Department of Health a notice to change ownership of Riley. The purchase, according to a press release from Anderson, will be finalized Dec. 31.

Anderson will take ownership of Riley, which is owned by Health Management Associates, Jan. 1. That includes Riley’s 140 licensed hospital beds, giving Anderson a total of 400 beds once the deal is included. Anderson plans to add service lines at Riley, including long-term acute care, wound care, inpatient rehab, a pain management center and enhanced obstetrics services.

The makings of the marriage between the two hospitals began unofficially last March, said Anderson CEO L. Ray Humphreys. Humphreys was still CEO at Delta Regional Medical Center then. When Humphreys assumed the CEO position at Anderson last year on May 3, “the tempo started picking up,” he said.

As of last Tuesday, Anderson had not filed purchase documents with the Department of Health, but Humphreys said last week that would happen in time for Anderson to take control of Riley on Jan. 1.

“This is a natural fit for Anderson Regional Medical Center,” Humphreys said in a press release. “This acquisition will allow our healthcare system to expand its campus, enhance and increase key services to help us better serve the residents of this region.”

“We are optimistic the purchase will proceed and close in a timely manner, allowing for what we hope will be a seamless transition merging the services, capabilities, technical and human resources of Riley into the Anderson family,” Riley CEO Pam Tvarkunas said in a separate press release.  “We’re committed to working together, collaborative planning and maintaining a high level of service.”

Patients can keep pre-existing appointments, employees will report as normal and all stakeholders will be notified of any changes as they happen in the weeks and months to come, according to Anderson officials.

Riley’s 400 employees will be retained, making Anderson’s total employment number approximately 1,700, among the largest in East Mississippi.

“Our mission is clear – to provide healing through the services we provide and to improve life for the people who live and work here,” Humphreys continued in Anderson’s release. “This is consistent with our mission, and it elevates the Meridian and East Mississippi/West Alabama region as a medical hub.”

With 400 beds, the expanded Anderson will become the largest hospital in East Mississippi.

“But that’s not the reason behind this move,” Humphreys said in an interview with the Mississippi Business Journal. “The healthcare environment (due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is changing. That had a big impact on this decision. Consolidation is certainly occurring as a result of the changing healthcare environment.”

Humphreys would not disclose the dollar value of the deal.

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