Medical mergers are trending in Douglas County. First, Broadway Medical Center and Sanford Health officially merged to become Sanford Health Broadway Clinic in January. Now, Douglas County Hospital (DCH) and Alexandria Clinic have entered into a partnership.
Douglas County commissioners are moving forward with the purchase of the Alexandria Clinic property. Revenue bond financing will fund the acquisition.
County board members met with Douglas County Hospital management on Friday in a special meeting to finalize the integration. The merger puts DCH, Alexandria Clinic and Heartland Orthopedic Specialists under one umbrella.
The county will issue gross revenue health care bonds purchased through State Bank and Trust in two series. The first $2.5 million will be tax-exempt Series 2012A bonds. The second series, 2012B, in the amount of $12.5 million, will be taxable.
"The provisions of the bonds are virtually identical to the gross revenue health care facilities bonds that were issued by the county in connection with the expansion and renovation of [Douglas County Hospital] in 2008," said Jack Arnold with Dougherty. Arnold drafted the financial package for the merger.
The resolution, unanimously passed by the commissioners, requires quarterly principle and interest payments on the 30-year bonds. During the first 10 years, interest will be fixed, after that time the bonds can be reset for the next 10 years. An overall interest rate cap of 9 percent has been imposed.
"The bonds are drafted in such a way that as we move into the 2013 and 2014 calendar years, bonds that were initially issued as taxable bonds can be converted to tax-exempt bonds at a lower interest rate as the county has more bank qualified bond capacity available," Arnold said.
Patients will keep the same doctors and nurses and see the same staff; the only change they will notice is expanded services.
"By integrating our services, and by working together to make the best decisions for the benefit of our patients and community, we will provide better healthcare for the west-central Minnesota region," said Carl Vaagenes, CEO of DCH.
Alexandria Clinic Administrator Tim Hunt said the merger wouldn't have happened if the organizations didn't share the same commitment in keeping the community healthy and thriving.
"Philosophically, we are all grounded in providing innovative healthcare solutions close to home," Hunt said.
The merger is expected to be complete as of July 1, 2012.
Crystal Dey Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter at @CrystalDey_Echo.