Health Care

California Nonprofit to Acquire River Valley Health Partners

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EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — River Valley Health Partners, the financially struggling operator of the 152-bed East Liverpool City Hospital here, and Prime Healthcare Foundation have signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of RVHP.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter, pending regulatory review and closing conditions. Terms were not disclosed.

Prime Healthcare Foundation is the nonprofit operator of seven hospitals in California and Texas. It is the public charity component of Prime Healthcare Services, based in Ontario, Calif., which operates 38 acute-care hospitals in 11 states and employs 40,000.

In addition to East Liverpool City Hospital, RVHP, a nonprofit corporation, operates River Valley Physicians LLC and Ohio Valley Home Health Services.

The agreement with Prime Healthcare Foundation “includes a commitment from Prime to maintain inpatient services, strengthen physician recruitment, hire substantially all employees, and to provide a multi-million dollar capital commitment over the next five years,” RVHP said.

Tuesday’s announcement follows the failure in April to complete plans announced in December for RVHP to merge with the former Humility of Mary Health Partners, now Mercy Health Youngstown.

In June Moody’s Investors Service downgraded East Liverpool City Hospital’s financial outlook to negative. Moody’s cited $7 million of outstanding bonds issued by the city of East Liverpool.

“The negative outlook reflects the high risk of debt acceleration and likely rapid decline in liquidity as well as potential for bankruptcy filing or troubled debt restructuring,” Moody’s said. “Reduction of significant operating losses is challenged by high physician subsidies and the presence of unions.”

Said Prem Reddy, chairman, president and CEO of Prime Healthcare Services, “Through our acquisition of RVHP, we look forward to partnering with physicians, nurses, employees and the community to preserve this invaluable health care institution for generations to come.”

Reddy’s statement noted the longevity of East Liverpool City Hospital, which was founded more than 100 years ago.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.