HMA Buys Gulf Coast Medical Center

Tenet Health care Corporation announced on Monday it has signed an agreement to sell Gulf Coast Medical Center. The would-be-buyer is Health Management Associates and the parent company of another Biloxi hospital. The relationship between Biloxi Regional Medical Center and nearby Gulf Coast Medical Center may soon change from competition to cooperation.

Biloxi Regional's parent company Health Management Associates has agreed to buy Gulf Coast from Tenet, which would turn the two hospitals into sister operations. Biloxi Regional CEO Tim Mitchell said "I think this gives us a great opportunity to work together on expanding and continuing services for our community. I think working together collaboratively will be a nice change." On its web site Tenet released the details of the proposed sale of it's only hospital in Mississippi. The deal calls for HMA to buy Gulf Coast Medical for $16 million. The agreement says Gulf Coast employees who are in good standing will be offered jobs. Tenet officials expect the sale to be complete by the end of May. HMA already owns 10 hospitals in Mississippi.

The sale of Gulf Coast Medical Center is the result of Hurricane Katrina. Tenet says after being devastated by last summer's hurricane, it reevaluated it operations here in Mississippi and found there was a continuing uncertainly about the community's long term health care needs so it decided it was time to sell. The company felt selling to a provider already in operation in our area would be in the best interest of the community and return services lost to the hurricane sooner.

Tenet says it wanted Gulf Coast Medical to be run by a company already working in the area, because that would be in the best interest of the community and speed up the return of services the hurricane took away.