Less than a month after negotiations for the purchase of Mission Regional Medical Center by an Edinburg-based hospital were dropped, the board of directors for Mission Regional signed a letter of intent Monday to sell the hospital to a California-based foundation.
According to a news release from Mission Regional, negotiations have started between the local hospital and Prime Healthcare Foundation, the first step in a potential purchase.
“Prime Healthcare is committed to continuing the 63-year legacy of Mission Regional Medical Center while upholding its traditions and ensuring the community is afforded the best patient care,” Prime Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Prem Reddy said in a statement. “Our motto is ‘Saving hospitals, Saving jobs and Saving lives’ and we are confident the medical center will grow stronger from this transition,” she said.
Prime Healthcare, a non-profit organization based in Ontario, California, would continue to operate Mission Regional in a manner consistent with its “historic mission,” the release stated.
According to Mission Regional CEO Javier Iruegas, Prime Healthcare owns and operates 44 hospitals throughout the US, 14 of which are members of the Prime Healthcare Foundation; a non-profit branch of Prime Healthcare that Mission Regional would potentially join. Harlingen Medical Center and the Weslaco-based Knapp Medical Center are the only local hospitals that are members of Prime Healthcare.
The announcement came days after a round of layoffs at Mission Regional last week. The hospital’s board had previously signed a letter of intent with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, according to Iruegas, but discussions between both organizations were dropped in late December. Iruegas would not provide an explanation for the failed negotiations, but did call this potential purchase a “seamless” transition.
“Prime Healthcare brings a unique knowledge and expertise in dealing with today’s changing healthcare environment,” Iruegas said. “The opportunities we can leverage by joining a larger organization such as Prime will help assure that our hospital continues serving our community for many years to come. Given Prime’s strong experience in similar acquisitions, I expect this review process to move efficiently.”