The Atlanta-based nonprofit system is poised to double its number of hospitals in just three years.
By the end of this month, the Georgia Attorney General’s Office is expected to release a report that could give Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare the go-ahead to continue its aggressive growth strategy in the state, where massive nonprofit providers are jockeying for healthcare market share.
Having already executed a number of mergers and acquisitions in recent years, Piedmont has turned its attention to Columbus Regional Health, a nonprofit system consisting of two hospitals and a number of other facilities in western Georgia.
Piedmont President and CEO Kevin Brown says the goal is to establish a third regional center around which related services will be oriented and expanded.
“We call it kind of a ‘hub-and-hub’ strategy,” Brown tells HealthLeaders Media. “We’ll now have kind of three clinical hubs: Atlanta, Athens, Columbus. And then as other opportunities present themselves, we’ll be looking at other metropolitan markets as well.”
If everything goes through as planned, then Piedmont will soon be operating in markets that represent about 70% of Georgia’s population, Brown says.
The hospital authority that governs Columbus Regional approved a letter of intent with Piedmont last October, and the Federal Trade Commission issued a brief notice last month indicating that it and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division had completed their reviews of the deal and decided against taking any enforcement actions.
That leaves approval from the state’s top attorney as Piedmont’s last big hurdle. A public hearing on the pending acquisition was held January 25, and the attorney general’s report is expected to be released February 26.
Steven Porter is editor at HealthLeaders.