Tennessee firm offers to lease Oktibbeha hospital

By The Associated Press

STARKVILLE — A Tennessee company has offered to lease OCH Regional Medical Center.

Capella Healthcare Vice President for Acquisitions Doug Johnson confirmed Friday to The Commercial Dispatch that the for-profit firm seeks a 50-year lease of the hospital.

Johnson says Capella sought the lease in an April 23 letter to the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors. He won’t say how much Capella offered.

Supervisor John Montgomery says he’s aware of the offer, but prefers community control.

Hospital CEO Richard Hilton says he was unaware of the offer until contacted by the Dispatch. He’s not commenting until hospital trustees meet to discuss it.

The 600-employee hospital had revenue of $145.9 million in the year ended Sept. 30, 2011, with $1.8 million profit.

Capella, of Franklin, Tenn., operates 14 hospitals in six states.