With the first of two major hospital deals impacting Rome — the Floyd-Atrium deal — signed, sealed and delivered, the local medical community is waiting for the second one to close.
Plans for the $635 million sale of Redmond Regional Medical Center to AdventHealth were announced in May.
At that time, officials with AdventHealth and Redmond’s parent company Hospital Corporation of America indicated they expected it to be finalized by the end of August. But President Joe Biden issued a July 9 executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to review and revise their healthcare merger guidelines to ensure that patients are not harmed.
It is unclear what kind of impact, if any, the revisions will have on a nonprofit hospital company such as AdventHealth acquiring a for-profit entity such as Redmond HCA.
Already this year there have been more than two dozen health system mergers and acquisitions, including the Floyd Medical Center merger with Atrium Health out of North Carolina.
The pending deal would include the 230-bed hospital on Redmond Road along with Redmond’s related physician clinics, outpatient services and all existing equity interests.
AdventHealth is a faith-based hospital system headquartered in Florida. It operates more than 40 hospital facilities spread across Colorado, Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Locally, AdventHealth operates hospitals in Calhoun and Chatsworth.
The HCA business model has focused in recent years on its major metropolitan hospitals with the idea of being the No. 1 or No. 2 provider in those markets. Redmond CEO John Quinlivan said the Rome market has never really fit that model.
“So it made perfect sense for HCA to sell Redmond, and I think it makes perfect sense for Advent to buy Redmond,” Quinlivan said.
Advent has been in the Greater Rome community for many years at Gordon Hospital. Quinlivan said they know the market, they know the people and have had a close relationship with Redmond through the years.
“They want to be here. They want to expand the services they’re offering and will continue to build on the great foundation that HCA has laid here in Rome with this hospital,” Quinlivan said.
In the past, Redmond has been partnered through HCA with Bartow County’s hospital. In this round of deals, Cartersville Medical Center was spun off to Piedmont Healthcare System of Atlanta.
“Now we’ll be partnered with Gordon under Advent,” Quinlivan said. “Gordon is slightly smaller than Cartersville but if you look at the services they offer, we’re fairly similar.”
Mike Murrill, CEO at the 69-bed AdventHealth Gordon, will be the CEO for Redmond as well. He’ll also become president of the regional alignment for AdventHealth.
His region will include the 42-bed Murray County hospital, and two short-term acute care facilities — AdventHealth Hendersonville near Asheville, with 109 beds and the 49-bed AdventHealth Manchester in Kentucky.
A statement issued from AdventHealth on Wednesday highlights “a long legacy of excellence” at Redmond as one of the factors that attracted their interest, along with its status as a nationally recognized cardiac care center.
“We are committed to working with HCA Healthcare to ensure a seamless transition for team members, physicians and consumers,” it reads, adding that the company will share more information about its plans once a closing date is set.
Of primary concern to government and school leaders in Rome and Floyd County is what the sale will mean to the tax base, since AdventHealth is a nonprofit.
Floyd County Tax Commissioner Kevin Payne said Wednesday that, as best as he can tell, Redmond Regional Medical Center contributed $1,387,214.82 to local tax coffers in 2020.
The tax on real estate listed under the name Redmond Park Hospital Inc. was $799,093.90 and another $588,120.92 came from the levy on personal property, the equipment in the HCA-owned hospital.
Rome City Schools Superintendent Lou Byars said he hopes that the growth of the tax digest will be able to offset the loss of the Redmond/HCA revenue.
“We won’t really know until next year,” Byars said. “We know it’s going to be a hit.”
The countywide tax digest as a whole grew by about 10% in 2021 so the loss has been at least partially absorbed by increased property values. However, many of those property assessments are still under appeal.
Quinlivan said he does not expect the public to see much difference at the hospital when the acquisition is finalized.
“Really, I think changes will be minimal. And what changes there are will all be positive,” he said. “I expect AdventHealth to invest to build on the strong foundation Redmond (HCA) has built.”
Redmond initiatives such as the Heart of the Community program are expected to continue under AdventHealth. Funds from that annual awards event each February have been pumped back into the community in a variety of ways.
The hospital has purchased defibrillator units for public buildings and exercise equipment for fitness stations along the trail through Ridge Ferry Park. A guest house for families of critically ill patients was constructed on the Redmond campus thanks to the Heart of the Community program.