Portage signs agreement with LifePoint

HANCOCK – Portage Health announced today their board of directors has signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture with LifePoint Hospitals.

According to a Portage Health press release, the agreement, which includes $60 million in capital investments over the next 10 years by the new joint venture, would allow Portage Health to expand and enhance its services to better meet the healthcare needs of its communities.

Steve Zutter, chairman of the Portage Health board said “We are delighted to take the next step in our potential joint venture with LifePoint. As we have explored this partnership, our board has become even more excited about the benefits that becoming part of LifePoint will bring our communities. This joint venture offers Portage Health opportunities not only to expand and enhance the care we provide, but transform healthcare provided throughout the region.”

Last February Portage and LifePoint announced they had signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture.

According to the Portage press release, under the terms of the definitive agreement, Portage Health and LifePoint would jointly own and operate Portage Health and its affiliated assets. LifePoint would own 80 percent of the joint venture, while Portage Health would have a 20 percent ownership stake. In addition to the $60 million in capital investments by the joint venture, approximately $40 million would be used to create a locally governed charitable foundation to fund organizations that support crucial community needs.

In the release, LifePoint Hospital’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III, said his company was happy with the agreement.

“LifePoint is very pleased to have reached this important milestone in our proposed partnership with Portage Health,” Carpenter said.

“We have enjoyed working with the Portage Health team and learning more about the hospital and the important role it plays in the U.P. We are excited at the prospect of becoming part of this community and working with Portage Health to find ways to make the Western Upper Peninsula healthier.”

As part of the agreement, governance of Portage Health would be equally shared between Portage Health and LifePoint to ensure that the community has an active and ongoing voice in the strategic direction of the hospital. An eight-member governing board with equal representation from Portage Health and LifePoint will be established.

“This joint venture has exciting potential for Portage Health, our physicians, employees and patients,” said Jim Bogan, Portage Health President and CEO, in the Portage press release.

“LifePoint has a strong track record of partnering with hospitals across the nation to improve healthcare in their communities. Through this joint venture, we have great opportunities not only to make Portage Health an even better place to work and receive quality care, but to strengthen and shape the future of healthcare in the Western Upper Peninsula.”

The definitive agreement is subject to review by the Attorney General of Michigan before being finalized.

LifePoint Hospitals, headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn., operates 57 hospital campuses in 20 states.

LifePoint is the sole community hospital provider in the majority of the communities it serves.