Medical Center Hospital Authority buys Hughston Hospital

The Medical Center Hospital Authority has signed documents to buy Hughston Orthopedic Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for $59 million, officials announced today. The hospital authority will officially take ownership from national health care company HCA Inc. at midnight.

This is the second hospital the local hospital authority has purchased in the last four months. At the beginning of March, it closed on a $89.5 million deal for Doctors Hospital, also formerly owned by HCA.

With the purchase of Hughston Hospital, a 100-bed facility, HCA no longer has a presence in the Columbus market.

Under the Medical Center Hospital Authority, Hughston Hospital turns into a community-based, non-profit hospital.

"The hospital and the community will benefit from the local ownership and control of Hughston Hospital," Larry Sanders, chairman and chief executive officer of Columbus Regional Healthcare System, said in a statement. "This will ensure the hospital remains a valuable community resource for decades to come."

The Medical Center Hospital Authority has agreed to let Columbus Regional manage Hughston Hospital. The nine-member Medical Center Hospital Authority promotes community health care interests through the support of Columbus Regional and its affiliates.

"We are excited about our new relationship with Hughston Hospital and we intend to continue operating it as a high-quality orthopedic and rehabilitation facility," Sanders said.

Read more of this story in Thursday's Ledger-Enquirer.