Portage Health signs agreement

HANCOCK – The Portage Health Board of Directors announced today it has signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with LifePoint Hospitals.

Based in Brentwood, Tenn., LifePoint Hospitals is a holding company with subsidiaries that own and operate hospital and healthcare facilities in several states.

According to a Portage Health statement released today, the proposed partnership will provide Portage Health with additional resources to expand the healthcare services provided in its communities and invest further in the growth of the hospital.

The letter of intent is a non-binding agreement that authorizes Portage Health and LifePoint to move forward with pursuing the proposed joint venture.

Following due diligence and a negotiation process, which is projected to take 60 to 90 days, the parties would enter into a definitive agreement. The agreement would then be subject to review by of the Attorney General of Michigan before being finalized.

“We selected LifePoint as a partner because of its commitment to physicians, employees and community,” said Steve Zutter, chair of the Portage Health board. “As part of this joint venture, Portage Health would share ownership and governance of our system while benefiting from financial resources, clinical and quality programs, and management expertise of one of the leading hospital companies in the nation. Together with LifePoint, we have a great opportunity to enhance the outstanding, innovative care provided throughout the Western Upper Peninsula.”

Under the terms of the proposed partnership, Portage Health and LifePoint would share ownership and governance of the hospital. Portage Health and LifePoint would share ownership of the hospital, with LifePoint obtaining the majority ownership interest. Governance would be equally shared between Portage Health and LifePoint, giving the community a long-term voice in the strategic direction of the hospital. The retained assets of Portage Health and the proceeds from the transaction would be used to create a locally-governed charitable foundation that would fund organizations that support crucial community needs.

“We are delighted at the prospect of partnering with Portage,” said LifePoint Chair and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III. “We look forward to working with the Portage board, management, employees and medical staff to explore new ways to expand and enhance healthcare services in the Western U.P. and strengthen the healthcare delivery system throughout the region.”

The joint venture with Portage Health will expand LifePoint’s presence in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

In September 2012, Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture partnership between LifePoint and Duke University Health System, acquired Marquette General Health System in Marquette.

“LifePoint has shown a tremendous commitment to strengthening healthcare delivery in the U.P. and partnering with providers to enhance the services we provide and ensure patients have access to the care they need and deserve locally,” said Jim Bogan, Portage Health President and CEO.