Naples-based HMA completes deal to acquire Bayfront hospital in St. Petersburg

HMA's corporate offices in Naples, Fla.

HMA's corporate offices in Naples, Fla.

Florida Health Management Associates President Alan Levine on NewsMakers 12-16-12.

Florida Health Management Associates President Alan Levine on NewsMakers 12-16-12.

— Naples-based hospital operator Health Management Associates Inc. has finalized its purchase of the Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

The deal closed Monday, with HMA now having an 80 percent interest in the 480-bed hospital and its related operations.

As part of the transaction, HMA has introduced a clinical affiliation with Shands HealthCare, part of UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center in Gainesville.

The Bayfront Health, Education and Research Organization, an independent not-for-profit created and paid for with money generated from the new partnership, will keep a 20 percent ownership in Bayfront. The joint venture is governed by local representatives of Bayfront and Health Management — and a new, entirely local hospital Board of Trustees has been created.

“We are very excited to welcome Bayfront into Health Management’s family of hospitals,” said Gary D. Newsome, HMA’s CEO and president, in a statement. “Bayfront has a rich history of delivering quality care to their community. With its strong community support, excellent medical staff and dedicated associates, we intend to enhance that tradition of high-quality health-care delivery through innovation and a patient-centered approach.”

HMA paid $162 million to buy a majority interest in Bayfront, which operates the only trauma center in Pinellas County. The new foundation that owns the other 20 percent interest will set aside $150 million to invest in research and education, Alan Levine, president of HMA’s Florida Group, said in a recent interview with the Daily News.

HMA plans to invest $100 million in capital projects into Bayfront over five years, Levine has said.

Talks with Bayfront began last spring, after it hired consultants to look at potential partners and then approached HMA.

While HMA owns six hospitals in the region from Hernando County to Charlotte County, none of them offers the highly specialized care that Bayfront does.

Through its subsidiaries, HMA now operates more than 70 hospitals, with about 11,100 licensed beds, in non-urban communities throughout the U.S. That includes one in Lehigh Acres in Lee County and two in Collier County, on Pine Ridge Road and Collier Boulevard.

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