Appalachian Regional Healthcare to Acquire Mary Breckinridge Hospital and Related Healthcare Services


Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Inc. (ARH) and Frontier Nursing Service, Inc. (FNS) announced today they have entered into a letter of intent for ARH to acquire Mary Breckinridge Hospital and all related healthcare services.

FNS and ARH hope to finalize the transaction within the next 60 to 90 days after the completion of the due diligence, which is usual and customary for a transaction of this complexity.

Jane Leigh Powell, chairman of the Frontier Nursing Service Board of Governors, said the sale will ensure that Hyden and Leslie County will continue to have local access to quality healthcare.

“We were committed to identifying an organization that would continue to provide quality healthcare in the greater Leslie County service area. Appalachian Regional Healthcare has been the leading provider of care in Eastern Kentucky for more than 55 years and in fact, statistics from the Kentucky Hospital Association show that 47 percent of the people in Leslie County already go to ARH for their healthcare needs,” Powell said. “The ARH health system is consistently recognized for its quality and commitment to excellent patient care. We are confident that through this transition, the health of our communities will be in the best of hands and are pleased that 160 employees will keep their jobs.”

Powell said the FNS Board of Governors has been working with Alliant Management, a Louisville-based hospital management company, for the past year to stabilize the healthcare operation’s finances. However, as has been the case throughout the country, a number of standalone hospitals are merging with larger healthcare systems in order to continue to be viable and sustainable. This transaction between FNS and ARH is consistent with what is occurring in the healthcare environment today. ARH affords Mary Breckinridge Hospital and its related healthcare services stability and the opportunity to grow the services it provides, Powell said.

ARH President and CEO Jerry W. Haynes said it is ARH’s longstanding mission to ensure all residents of Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia have local access to the medical services they need.

“Much like the FNS, the ARH system has a deep history of serving the healthcare needs of the people of Eastern Kentucky,” Haynes said. “We are extremely proud that Mary Breckinridge Hospital and its related healthcare services will now be a part of the ARH system and our long-term plans for the future of healthcare in Eastern Kentucky. ARH is truly honored to have the opportunity to continue the legacy of Ms. Breckinridge and the healthcare services she created.”

Mary Breckinridge Hospital is a Critical Access Hospital providing primary care services, a fully equipped emergency room, inpatient services, state-of-art diagnostic and ancillary services, and houses the Wasson Rural Health Clinic. The hospital employs more than 160 people, making it the second largest employer in Leslie County.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating nine hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.

The ARH system employs more than 4,700 employees and has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members representing various specialties. Firmly committed to its mission of improving the health and promoting the well-being of all people in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia, in the past 12 months alone, ARH provided more than $120 million in uncompensated care for the uninsured and underinsured.

Consistently recognized for its medical excellence, the ARH system was one of two Kentucky health systems to be named earlier this year to the 2011 SDI IHN 100 listing of the most highly integrated healthcare networks in the nation, and was selected as the 2010 Outstanding Rural Health Organization in the nation by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). Most recently, the Harlan ARH Hospital was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.

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