Hospital Corporation of America of Nashville, Tennessee has signed a letter of intent to acquire Mission Hospital. In a news release, Mission said its board voted unanimously to execute the letter of intent with HCA, a for-profit health care company which operates 177 hospitals and 119 surgery centers in the United States and the United Kingdom. Mission said the decision is based on its long-term vision and commitment to preserve and expand the organization’s quality of care in a rapidly consolidating healthcare industry. If everything proceeds, Mission will become a member of HCA sometime this year. The deal is subject to the negotiation of a definite agreement and applicable regulatory approval. Mission has launched a website —missionhealthforward.org — with the announcement to provide updates on the merger as they become available.
In April of last year, Mission discontinued labor and delivery services at Angel Medical Center in Macon County and then in June moved labor and delivery out of the Spruce Pine hospital. At that time, Mission CEO Ron Paulus said changes to the Affordable Care Act, along with cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid, put significant financial pressure on the health system Mission left Blue Cross NC’s network in October over concerns of rising health care costs but returned in December. Mission recently opened its new $46 million McDowell Hospital in Marion and is continuing construction on the $400 million project that combines the St Joseph and Memorial Mission facilities and will become Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine.