The following statement was issued by Robert R. Hardy, Chairman of the Walker County Hospital District Board of Managers:
I am pleased to provide an update on the District Board of Managers review of proposals from interested hospital systems to acquire the District’s assets and those of Walker County Hospital Corporation d/b/a Huntsville Memorial Hospital (HMH).
The District Board of Managers began a process in January 2016 to evaluate the best option for ensuring adequate funding and resources to improve HMH and permit it to offer additional services, with the underlying goal of ensuring the provision of quality patient care locally well into the future. This was a result of recent changes in the delivery of healthcare and the reimbursement for healthcare services that have put pressures on sole community hospitals to become part of larger health systems that can provide the financial and professional resources to respond to these pressures.
Fifteen hospital systems expressed an interest in acquiring the hospital and its operations. Hilltop Securities, the District’s financial consultants, conducted a thorough evaluation of the responders, which resulted in three finalists. The District appointed an Advisory Committee that included two members of the HMH Board of Directors, two physician members of the HMH medical staff, the CEO of HMH, and two members of the District Board of Managers to review the proposals and interview the finalists.
The Advisory Committee agreed unanimously that one of the bidders had submitted the proposal that best meets the District’s objective of ensuring the continuation of quality healthcare locally. After discussions with the medical staff, HMH administration, and the HMH Board of Directors, the District, in its meeting of September 19, 2016 has decided to enter into negotiations with one of the three finalists (the same bidder that was recommended unanimously by The Advisory Committee) that appears to be the best match for the community, consistent with the criteria the District specified in its Confidential Information Memorandum.
The Board has directed Hilltop Securities, to begin a negotiation process, which the Board hopes will result in a completed transaction between the District and the finalist.
The parties who participated in this process entered into confidentiality agreements with the District and HMH that require that terms of the proposals be kept confidential. Until the District receives contractual documentation for the transaction, details of the recommended bid will remain confidential in accordance with the provisions of the confidentiality agreements and consistent with Texas law.
Note: This transaction is one involving the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property and is confidential from release at this time under the Public Information Act according to section 551.072 of the Public Information Act:
Sec. 551.072. DELIBERATION REGARDING REAL PROPERTY; CLOSED MEETING. A governmental body may conduct a closed meeting to deliberate the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property if deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person.
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The Walker County Hospital District of Walker County, Texas is a political subdivision of the State of Texas. The District was authorized by an Enabling Act by the Texas Legislature under Senate Bill No. 1020 of the 62nd Legislature on June 9, 1971. A five member Board of Managers conducts the business of the District.