Hospital deal to close next week

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

ALBANY, Ga. -- As first reported on albanyherald.com, officials with the Phoebe Putney Health System have set the closing date for the Palmyra Medical Center purchase to April 14.

An amendment to the purchase agreement approved by the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County at a special called meeting Monday put that in motion.

"The hospital authority met with staff and attorneys to continue to review the transaction," said Phoebe CEO Joel Wernick following the authority's two-hour closed session on Monday.

"We are eager to move forward with this new chapter."

If plan holds, the deal will become final at 12:01 a.m. on April 15.

In order to get to this point, there have been contract reviews as well as some regulatory issues to attend to in the months following the announcement of the acquisition.

Now, Wernick said there is not much left to be done before the purchase becomes finalized.

"If you can imagine the purchase of a house, it is about 100 times that," the CEO said of the process involved with closing on the hospital. "We've done everything we think we need to do."

The purchase was announced on Dec. 21, at which time the anticipated closing date was set for late January. In February, an amendment was made to the purchase agreement that would allow for a closing date of March 1.

Also on Monday, the hospital authority approved a revised lease between the authority and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

"It's to acknowledge the existence of a new lease for Palmyra, and (to allow for) modernizations to make sure we are compliant with new laws," Wernick said.

Also at the meeting, Wernick gave a status report on the deal with Dorminy Medical Center in Fitzgerald. The process of finalizing the partnership has been ongoing since officials announced in September that Phoebe would be managing the hospital.

Currently, the leasing documents for Dorminy are undergoing mandated review. Phoebe still expects to be managing the hospital by this summer.