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KershawHealth board to continue Capella, EMS discussions

(Online only story)

Posted: February 6, 2015 2:19 p.m.
Updated: February 9, 2015 1:00 a.m.

The KershawHealth Board of Trustees will continue discussing its pending lease/purchase deal with Capella Healthcare of Tennessee and the proposed transfer of emergency medical services (EMS) to Kershaw County. The board will receive legal advice on these issues in executive session near the end of its meeting tonight at the Health Resource Center on Battleship Road in Camden.

 The Capella deal is set to close March 31. Kershaw County has asked for a $3 million payment out of Capella’s $36 million offer to cover EMS operations for nearly two years. KershawHealth officials have said it cannot make such a payment because most, if not all, the money the board will have on hand after the sale must be used to pay off bond, pension and other debt.

KershawHealth’s proposed agreement with Capella also includes having the board set aside a fund during the pending 40-year lease in the event it must take back control of the hospital from the for-profit company.

The board met Thursday night in executive session to discuss these matters during a special called meeting. Trustees took no action afterward. Thursday night’s special executive session marked the second such meeting in three weeks in addition to discussions held in executive session during its Feb. 26 regular meeting.

Kershaw County Council is also set to discuss the matter during its meeting Tuesday night (see “KCC set to discuss EMS’ future”).

CEO Terry Gunn is expected to update the board during the open portion of the meeting on the due diligence being conducted between KershawHealth and Capella.

During tonight’s executive session, trustees will also discuss the possible location and expansion of services. In addition to its pending deal with Capella -- which has already promised to invest $55 million during the first 10 years of its lease into the hospital -- KershawHealth is working on a partnership with Orthopaedic Advantage to create a joint center of excellence. The facility would most likely be built adjacent to KershawHealth’s Elgin Outpatient/Urgent Care Center.

Also on tonight’s agenda:

• a “pay for performance” update from Vice Chair Dr. Tallulah Holmstrom, who chairs the board’s quality committee;

• Gunn will also update trustees on employee recognition and an annual report;

• Trustee Derial Ogburn will report on work being done by the board’s contracts committee; and

• Chair Karen Eckford will report on a recent strategic planning committee meeting.

Tonight’s meeting is open to the public.

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