MSHA official says Unicoi Co. hospital deal not sent to state yet

Brad Hicks • Aug 27, 2013 at 6:56 AM

Attorneys with Mountain States Health Alliance and Unicoi County Memorial Hospital are not quite ready to notify the state attorney general of MSHA’s acquisition of UCMH.

Shane O’Hare, MSHA corporate director of communications and marketing, said the final definitive agreement between the two parties has not yet been signed, and attorneys are reviewing documents related to the transaction before they are sent to the state attorney general’s office. O’Hare said attorneys want to ensure the documentation submitted to the attorney general’s office will sufficiently address information being sought by the office.

O’Hare said officials are hopeful the documentation will be sent to the attorney general and the office will be notified of the sale this week, but he said the review may carry over into the following week.

“We’re hopeful we get something done here in the next two weeks,” he said.

The UCMH Board of Control approved MSHA’s final definitive agreement at a public meeting March 28, four months after the board voted to accept an acquisition proposal submitted by MSHA.

After the signed agreement and other documents are sent to the attorney general’s office, the office will conduct a review to see if the information submitted adequately addresses information sought. After these documents have been deemed complete by the attorney general’s office, it will have 45 days to review the acquisition process, although this time frame can be extended if the office requires more information.

MSHA President/CEO Dennis Vonderfecht previously said the attorney general will primarily be looking at whether a fair price was paid by MSHA to acquire UCMH and if the process that led to the acquisition was followed from a legal standpoint.

After its review, the attorney general’s office will either object to the sale or take no action, the latter of which would lead to the transaction’s closing.

One of the commitments outlined in MSHA’s acquisition proposal was the construction of a new acute care facility within the limits of Erwin. MSHA is currently looking to construct this facility on 45 acres of property near the Holiday Inn Express off the Temple Hill Exit.

Earlier this week, Bill Atlon, MSHA vice president of facilities and construction, said MSHA has selected Treadway Land Surveyors to conduct due diligence on this property to make sure it meets the needs of the new UCMH. MSHA officials are hoping to begin construction in 2015 and have the facility completed by early 2017.

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