On August 24, the Lee County Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners voted to approve a letter of intent with Americore Health, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, under which the Authority will sell the former Lee Regional Medical Center to Americore for use as a hospital and additional health care services such as enhanced laboratory services, behavioral health services, detox rehab programs, and veterans care.
Prior to the vote, the Board of Commissioners met in closed session to receive separate presentations from Mountain States Health Alliance and Americore Health, LLC. Following extensive discussion of the proposals, the Board adopted a motion to select the proposal presented by Americore, with certain amendments presented by the Board and agreed to by Americore. Prior to the final vote on the Americore proposal, a proposed amendment that would have required Americore to provide financial assurances for their performance of their plan, such as a letter of credit or performance bond, failed on a 5-3 vote. After the vote on the amendment, the Board of Commissioners voted 5-3 to approve the Americore proposal.
The vote concluded deliberations by the Board of Commissioners for over ten hours during four separate gatherings, which started on August 9, 2017. “We all felt it was time for a decision,” said Vice Chairman Ronnie Montgomery, “and we appreciate the interest of both Americore and Mountain States in working with us.” He added. “We also appreciate the support of everyone in the community during this process and even though the final vote was divided, we all committed to support the decision of the board and move forward,” said Montgomery.
The Authority initially started working with Americore during the fall of 2016 and Americore has provided interim financing through a loan to the Hospital Authority secured by the former Lee Regional Medical Center building of $131,424.00 to cover the costs of maintaining the facility.
As summary of the major terms of the Americore letter of intent follows:
- Americore will purchase the former Lee Regional Medical Center for $2,000,000 paying $500,000 at closing and issuing a promissory note for $1,500,000 payable beginning in three years. Americore may require the Authority to subordinate the building purchase loan to other debt financing necessary to re-open the hospital.
- The existing loan from Americore to the Authority will be cancelled upon the purchase of the building.
- Americore will use commercially reasonable efforts to assist the Hospital Authority to reopen a critical access hospital and establish additional health care services in the region, including enhanced laboratory capability, behavioral health services, detox rehab programs, and veterans care.
- The Hospital Authority will retain a right of first refusal on the building to purchase the building for the fair market value if Americore receives an independent bona fide third party offer.
- If at any time during the first five years following the date upon which Americore receives the license to operate the hospital Americore decides to cease operation as a a hospital, Americore will provide the Authority 120 days notice to purchase the building at fair market value.
- Americore will undertake all steps necessary to re-open the hospital including repairs to the building, obtaining required equipment, hiring required personnel, and consulting with the Authority to obtain the necessary licensure.
"We are so excited about Americore,” said Diana Pope. “We feel their potential to provide medical care for the citizens of Lee County can be the finest in the region," she added.
The letter of intent also establishing a target date of August 31 for the execution of the Asset Purchase Agreement and the parties hope to close the transaction within 30-45 days.