Signature Hospital Corp. Prepares to Close

John Commins, January 13, 2011

Signature Hospital Corp. CEO Charles Miller said Wednesday he would retire on Jan. 31, as the Houston-based company announced plans to sell its three hospitals and wind down operations by the end of 2011.

"Our decision follows months of careful deliberation on the future of our hospitals and the Company," said Signature CFO Steve Peterson.

Founded in 2005, privately held Signature owns and operates: St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg, WV; Pampa Regional Medical Center in Pampa, TX; and Gulf Coast Medical Center in Wharton, TX.

"Based on current economic conditions and the impending healthcare reform, we believe Signature does not have the scale to continue to ensure long-term financial stability for Pampa Regional Medical Center and Gulf Coast Medical Center," Peterson said. "We hope to have the sale of St. Joseph's completed in the 1st Quarter of this year and the sale of the two Texas hospitals finalized before the end of 2011."

FTI Consulting was hired to find a buyer for Signature's Texas hospitals, and to manage them in the interim. In September Signature announced that it would sell St. Joseph's to West Virginia United Health System.

"It's in the best interest of the hospitals and the communities that they serve that we not only find the right buyer, but that we also find the right firm to assist in the day-to-day operations of the hospitals while we are working on the sales process," Peterson said.

PRMC is a 115 bed acute-care hospital located 60 miles northeast of Amarillo and 180 miles north of Lubbock. GCMC is a 161 bed acute-care hospital located 55 miles southwest of downtown Houston and 30 miles from Sugar Land, Texas.Both hospitals will continue normal operations during the transition.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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