- Community Health Systems has fired Lutheran Health Network (LHN) CEO Brian Bauer, Modern Healthcare reported. Dupont Hospital CEO Aaron Garofola in Fort Wayne, Ind. was also let go.
- Lutheran President of Operations Marty Bonick was quoted in WANE.com saying "current circumstances put him in an untenable position and he is unable to continue in his leadership role.” Mike Poore, vice president of operations for CHS Professional Services, will serve as interim CEO of Lutheran Health Network, Becker's Hospital Review reported.
- LHN generates about 15-20% of CHS's EBIDTA annually, a J.P. Morgan analyst pointed out last month, equating to about $350 million a year.
While the physician-led group doesn't seem to have given up on its buyout attempt, CHS is making changes to seek greater control of one of it's most profitable regions. The layoff follows CHS' rejection of a $2.4 billion buyout offer from a physician-led group to purchase much of LHN.
Last month, a physician-led group offered to buy at least eight hospitals from CHS. About 100 medical professionals at Lutheran Hospital voted unanimously to support its sale, offering a vote of "no confidence" in CHS to make decisions in the interests of patients, staff and the community.
CHS rejected the offer stating the proposal was at least $1 billion below a satisfactory offer.
According to Modern Healthcare, the physicians who sought the buyout are on a PR campaign in hopes to revive interest in the sale.
Earlier comments from CHS CEO Wayne Smith last month signal the system will be less interested in hospital divestitures in the future as it seeks to reduce its nearly $15 billion debt load. Recently, CHS announced it would sell five Pennsylvania hospitals, though the system may not be interested in selling off some of its more lucrative assets.