Hutcheson Hospital Authority has sold its 51 percent interest in Battlefield Imaging to co-owner Digital Imaging of North Georgia for $5.2 million. A portion of the proceeds from the sale have been used to repay loans from Walker County, and the remainder will be invested to accelerate the hospital’s ongoing turnaround and pave the way for a comprehensive refinancing of the north Georgia regional hospital’s debt.
Earlier this year, Walker County Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell granted the hospital a $1 million line of credit for temporary cash flow needs pending the sale of the Battlefield Imaging interests. Hutcheson drew down $650,000 in principal on that line of credit, and is paying the loan back with five percent interest calculated from the date of drawdowns, for a total payment of $652,804.79.
Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Aiken’s GB Health Management and CEO Farrell Hayes, the executive management team is implementing a strategic plan to accelerate the hospital’s financial recovery in the wake of mismanagement by its previous managing partner, Erlanger Health System, and prior administrations. The plan will define and grow the services that are most beneficial to the community and allow the hospital to thrive, including cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, oncology and general surgery.
Hutcheson Medical Center has worked closely with the physician owners of Digital Imaging of North Georgia through its Diagnostic Radiology Consultants (DRC) affiliate in providing leading edge imaging services to the patients of north Georgia since 1992. In 2004, Hutcheson Medical Center and DRC designed and opened Battlefield Imaging, the area's only full service, all-digital outpatient imaging center. The facility is located in the Hutcheson on the Parkway campus on Battlefield Parkway adjacent to the hospital’s outpatient surgery and cancer center. A provision in the sale agreement with Digital Imaging of North Georgia allows Hutcheson to buy back its controlling interest in Battlefield Imaging within two years.
“We are grateful to Commissioner Heiskell and Walker County and certainly Regions Bank for their support as we continue to move toward reclaiming our position as the healthcare leader for this region,” said Dr. Aiken, whose health care management and consulting company is overseeing the hospital’s long-term financial success.