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LifePoint officials visit, reassure Fauquier Hospital staff

Tuesday, Mar. 12 | By Steve Campbell
Top officials of LifePoint Hospitals met with Fauquier Health physicians and staff Tuesday to talk about a proposed merger between the local nonprofit facility and the for-profit company. Photo by Adam Goings
A buzz filled the air in Fauquier Hospital's busy Bistro on the Hill restaurant Tuesday as nurses, doctors and other staff pondered the ramifications of a proposed merger with a Tennessee health-care company.

"I think it's going to be good, but we'll have to see," a nurse who asked to remain nameless, said of the coming merger.

Officials from the Brentwood, Tenn.,-based health-care company spent the day getting to know and listening to hospital staff in a series of meetings throughout the day.

LifePoint Chairman and CEO William F. Carpenter III's main message to the 1,100 or so members of the Fauquier Health community was that no one would lose their jobs as a result of the merger.

"Some great people work here, and they love working here," Carpenter said Tuesday. "You can see it in their faces. They're happy about where they work. Says a lot about a hospital."

Fauquier Health officials last week announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations. The MOU paves the way for the beginning of a months-long due diligence process.

LifePoint owns 57 hospitals in 20 states, including five in Virginia.

Plans call for the creation of a new, as yet unnamed, limited liability company, with LifePoint as the majority owner.

Both Fauquier Health and LifePoint would share in the governance of the new organization, with each having an equal number of members on its board of directors.

The merger joins a growing trend of health-care consolidation driven in large part by cost concerns about the impact of the Affordable Care Act upon small community hospitals.

Read the rest in Wednesday's Times-Democrat.
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