Critics file complaint over CO hospital-buyout deal

The Denver Post, July 11, 2011
The Colorado Health Foundation's $1.45 billion deal to sell its share of Denver's largest hospital group to a for-profit chain may be underpriced in a closed-door deal and undercutting community interests, according to objections lodged with the state attorney general. Prominent former board members want the attorney general to declare the deal a "conversion" from nonprofit to for-profit status, a ruling that would give the state and community interests more power to alter terms. They say the foundation's joint ownership with national conglomerate HCA helped ensure community interests were being served and that those interests need ongoing protection. Declaring the sale a conversion, which Colorado Health Foundation attorneys are trying to head off, would also require replacing the powerful foundation board and its executives. Foundation leaders and attorneys say the conversion statute—meant to guarantee public benefit when a nonprofit sells valuable community assets—does not apply because the Health Foundation has only 40% of the controlling stake in its joint venture with the HCA chain.

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