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Union Health makes deal with HCA Healthcare to acquire Terre Haute Regional Hospital

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | September 18, 2023
Business Affairs
Entrance to Terre Haute Regional Hospital (Photo courtesy of Terre Haute Regional Hospital)
Union Health, in Indiana, has agreed to buy Terre Haute Regional Hospital from HCA Healthcare, including its related businesses, physician clinic operations, and outpatient services.

Both providers are based in the city of Terre Haute. Union Health is an integrated health system with 1,369 employees at Union Hospital, Union Medical Group, and Union Hospital Clinton. Terre Haute Regional is a 278-bed level III trauma center that has been around for 135 years and is the only full-service hospital in the area accredited by The Joint Commission.

Pending standard regulatory review and approval, the two plan to begin the integration process immediately and expect that together they can increase health metrics in the community, which ranks in the lower quarter to lower third for many, according to the Tribune-Star.

In a statement, they said that the deal will increase access to specialized care at Union Health, including “primary and preventative care,” as well as “behavioral health, cardiovascular, oncology, neuroscience, women’s and children's health, and orthopedic services. ”

Once completed, Terre Haute Regional will transition from a for-profit entity under HCA Healthcare, the largest for-profit healthcare chain in the U.S., to a nonprofit like Union Health. Operations there will not be interrupted during the transition, and it will remain a hospital with a possible name change.

Terre Haute Regional employs 662 employees, all of whom will be transferred to Union Health with their seniority and the same or considerable pay, and will receive benefits under it. Union Health President and CEO Steve Hollman told the Tribune-Star that many would have a position that is a “direct match” to their previous one.

When questioned about concerns of decreased competition in the local healthcare market, he said the deal would create “robust services” and improve physician recruitment. “We’ve always had pricing that is slightly less than the Indiana average. I don’t anticipate that changing.”

While financial struggles were not listed as a reason for the acquisition, a report by the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform found that 29% of rural hospitals nationwide are at immediate or high risk of closing, which has pushed other rural health systems to combine. Trinity Regional Hospital Sachse, a Texas community provider, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, two years after opening, and is searching for a buyer.

Union Health and Terre Haute Regional were negotiating a deal as far back as December 2021, reported the Tribune-Star. They will next apply for a certificate of public advantage.

The acquisition will close in early 2024, around the same time as the ThedaCare and Froedtert Health acquisition in Wisconsin, with the two merging into an 18-hospital system valued at nearly $5 billion.

Financial details were not disclosed.

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