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BayCare Buying Bartow Regional Medical Center

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Bartow Regional Medical Center

One of the largest hospital systems in the Tampa Bay area is expanding its reach with the purchase of a Polk County hospital.

BayCare Health System is acquiring the 72-bed Bartow Regional Medical Center from the for-profit Community Health Systems (CHS) chain. According to a statement, the changeover should be complete by the end of the year.

The deal hands over to BayCare the hospital in Bartow, as well as its outpatient services. The financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Today, BayCare owns 13 hospitals and numerous outpatient facilities in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties. The not-for-profit chain employees almost 24,000 people.

In 2014, Franklin, Tennessee-based CHS took over the troubled Health Management Associates hospital chain. It currently owns 198 hospitals in 29 states, but is spinning off several dozen of them to a new publicly traded company called Quorum Health Resources, LLC.

The Bartow sale lowers the number of CHS facilities in Florida to 24. It also recently announced plans to sell Lehigh Regional Medical Center, an 88-bed facility east of Fort Myers in Lehigh Acres. Last month, CHS announced that California-based Prime Healthcare Services Inc. would take over.

Mary Shedden reports for WUSFin Tampa. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF.