Community Health Systems’ (CHS) subsidiary has acquired 80% ownership interest in two hospitals affiliated to Indiana University (IU) Health.

Under the acquisition, the CHS subsidiary will assume 80% ownership of IU’s 227-bed IU Health La Porte Hospital in La Porte in Indiana and a 50-bed IU Health Starke Hospital in Knox, Indiana, as well as affiliated outpatient centres and physician practices, while IU will retain the remaining 20% ownership.

An IU Health Starke Hospital release has stated that CHS has pledged an investment of $140m to be utilised for strategic projects such as new services, new technology, and physician recruitment, including replacement hospitals in La Porte and Starke counties.

Additionally, earnings generated after the sale has been dedicated to the newly-created Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, a locally-managed private foundation that will cater to the healthcare requirements of the communities served by La Porte and Starke hospitals.

"We look forward to working with IU Health and supporting the dedicated physicians and employees who care for the La Porte and Starke communities."

CHS chairman and CEO Wayne Smith said: "This affiliation extends our footprint into new markets in Indiana, a state where we already have significant operations. We look forward to working with IU Health and supporting the dedicated physicians and employees who care for the La Porte and Starke communities."

In addition to the capital investment pledged by CHS following the acquisition, efficient employees with the same payscale will be retained with continuity of medical staff privileges.

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The CHS authority has also ensured the continuation of the acquired hospital unit’s charity care policies and participation in Medicare and Medicaid programmes, as well as forming a local board comprised of community leaders and members of the hospitals’ medical staffs.

Last year, CHS subsidiaries inked a definitive agreement to sell all the assets of 72-bed Bartow Regional Medical Centre in Bartow, Florida, along with related outpatient services, to subsidiaries of BayCare Health System.