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Monroe hospital to be sold
Report: Piedmont would expand east metro reach
Clearview Regional Medical Center
The sun sets over Clearview Regional Medical Center in Monroe, Ga., on Tuesday night, Jan. 30, 2018. - photo by David Clemons

MONROE, Ga. — Quorum Health Corp. said Thursday it will sell Clearview Regional Medical Center this spring to pay down debt.

The Brentwood, Tennessee-based company did not identify a buyer for the Monroe hospital but said it has signed a definitive agreement to sell the 77-bed facility and associated assets.

The Walton Tribune reported it had obtained what appeared to be an internal memo that said Piedmont Healthcare would buy the hospital in a deal closing by April 1. The facility would be renamed Piedmont Walton Hospital.

Quorum said its sale of Clearview is expected to close late in the first quarter of the year. In a news release, Quorum said all net proceeds from the sale would be used to pay down a term loan facility.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Sydney Walker, spokeswoman for Piedmont Healthcare, declined to speculate on “market speculation” after Quorum announced the sale Thursday morning.

Ownership changes are nothing new for Clearview. The hospital will be getting its fifth owner in less than two decades.

Community Health Systems, the nation’s largest owner of hospitals, spun off several of its properties — mostly in suburban and rural markets — in 2016 to a new company known as Quorum. The firm has since sold several hospitals including properties in Augusta and Winder.

After the sale, Quorum’s only Georgia hospital will be Fannin Regional Hospital in Blue Ridge.

Health care in metro Atlanta has seen several years of upheaval and consolidation.

Piedmont Healthcare has expanded its services across most of the east side of the metro area. It has brought hospitals in Covington, Athens and Conyers into its fold since fall 2015.

Piedmont entered into a 40-year lease to operate Newton Medical Center — now known as Piedmont Newton Hospital — effective Oct. 1, 2015.

The state attorney general has approved a merger between Northside Hospital and Gwinnett Medical Center, which could take effect early this year.

Marietta-based WellStar Health System expanded its footprint in 2016 when it bought five Tenet Healthcare Corp. hospitals.

Piedmont Healthcare has eight hospitals across north Georgia and more than 100 locations, including medical offices in Covington and Social Circle.