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Prisma Health acquires Providence Hospitals, Kershaw Health

The large hospital organization in the state is acquiring two Columbia-area hospitals and one in Camden.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Prisma Health Midlands is buying Providence Health and Kershaw Health hospital, giving the medical center several more major health centers in the Midlands.

Prisma Health and LifePoint Health, the current owner of Providence and Kershaw Health, announced the deal on Thursday morning. Prisma Health Midlands will take over the operation of three hospitals: Providence Hospital, located in Columbia on Forest Drive; Providence Northeast, located off Farrow Road; and Kershaw Health, located in Camden, as well as several associated clinics. They're also getting a freestanding emergency room in Fairfield County. 

It continues the growth and acquisitions for Prisma in the Midlands, which first merged with Greenville Health in 2018 and also acquired Tuomey Hospital in Sumter. 

“We are delighted at the prospect of welcoming the Providence and KershawHealth teams to the Prisma Health family,” said Mark O’Halla, President and Chief Executive Officer of Prisma Health. “Providence and KershawHealth are known to share our commitment to improving patient experiences, clinical quality and access to care. We look forward to continuing our mutual goal of enhancing the health of our communities.”

Providence Hospital's location in Columbia is known for its heart center. Prisma Health Officials said the acquisitions will allow them to expand areas for cardiovascular, women's health, orthopedics, and pediatrics. 

Kershaw County government, though, said they're "concerned" about the sale of Kershaw Health. In a statement Thursday, Kershaw Health said they were not consulted about the potential deal, and only learned about it last week.

They believe they may result in less healthcare services, pointing to the loss of ambulance services, previous layoffs, and the closing of the Bethune Clinic.

"Based on the understanding of the new ownership, Kershaw County will not receive the one-third funding that is afforded to them based on the 2015 agreement that transferred the hospital’s EMS services to the County," the statement read. "This will result in the loss of approximately $1,000,000 each year for EMS services and will force the County to consider if the level of EMS service our community is already receiving is feasible to continue based on the loss of funding."

Providence Health was founded in 1938, and has been owned by LifePoint since 2016. KershawHealth is even older, having been created in 1913. It joined LifePoint in 2018. 

The acquisitions still need some final legal and regulatory requirements before they're complete. 

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