Sale of Clayton County hospital finalized

Prime Healthcare Foundation announced Monday that it has completed its acquisition of Southern Regional Medical Center, Clayton County’s only hospital.

The deal, which closed Monday, follows a hectic year in which the struggling Southern Regional, near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, sought a financial partner to avoid closure.

In July, Prime Healthcare Foundation, based in California, signed a letter of intent to acquire the Riverdale hospital with a bid that was valued at about $18 million.

Later the same month, the nonprofit owner of Southern Regional filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.

Southern Regional
Southern Regional

In September, things got more complicated when Grady Health System in Atlanta submitted a higher bid for Southern Regional. But Grady soon backed off the offer, saying a deal would not be practical due to time constraints set by the bankruptcy court.

Southern Regional historically has had a high level of uninsured and indigent patients, and has posted annual financial losses since 2007.

The deal for Southern Regional includes the purchase of Spivey Station, an ambulatory care service center in nearby Jonesboro. The two entities will retain their not-for-profit status as members of the Prime Healthcare Foundation, an affiliate of Prime Healthcare Services, the company said.

The name of the hospital will remain the same, a spokesman said.

This will be Prime’s first hospital in Georgia, though the organization recently attempted a purchase of another struggling facility, Hutcheson Medical Center in the northwest Georgia town of Fort Oglethorpe.

The Southern Regional acquisition was approved by the Georgia Attorney General’s Office and the state’s Department of Community Health.

Clayton County
Clayton County

Prime Healthcare has committed to invest $50 million in capital equipment and infrastructure improvements into the hospital over the next five years.

“Prime Healthcare looks forward to working with the physicians, nurses and employees at Southern Regional Medical Center and Spivey Station to ensure the best care for the patients they serve,” Dr. Prem Reddy, chairman, president and CEO of Prime Healthcare Services, said in a statement Monday. “We believe that every community deserves exceptional health care close to home. Prime hospitals are consistently ranked among the best hospitals in the nation, and we have no doubt that Southern Regional Medical Center will continue that legacy.”

Prime Healthcare also named Charlotte W. Dupré, who has been leading the transition team, as interim CEO of Southern Regional.  Dupré served most recently as CEO of Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.