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MUSC completes $75M purchase of Columbia, Camden hospitals and will change names

Compliments of Post and Courier

Providence Health is no more in the Capital City.

The hospital, originally founded by the Catholic Sister of Charity, is now state-owned MUSC Health Columbia Medical Center, following the finalization of its purchase by MUSC Health University Medical Center.

With the $75 million purchase South Carolina’s second-largest hospital system added Providence’s downtown and northeast facilities to its fleet of care centers around the state, as well as the former KershawHealth hospital in Camden — now known as MUSC Health Kershaw Medical Center — and the emergency room in Fairfield County — now known as MUSC Health Fairfield Emergency and Imaging.

The hospitals were previously owned by Tennessee-based for-profit LifePoint Health.

All of LifePoint’s existing 2,000 employees were offered to remain on staff under the new ownership, said MUSC Health CEO Dr. Pat Cawley said.

The deal takes MUSC to more than 2,000 beds and 19,000 employees across the state.

Buying Providence Health is the latest in MUSC’s major expansion outside of its Charleston base where it had been contained for nearly 200 years before it branched outside the area for the first time with the acquisition of four community hospitals in 2019. The public, nonprofit health system receives financial support out of the state budget.

The deal comes months after Prisma Health, the state’s largest health care system terminated its own agreement to purchase LifePoint’s facilities. Prisma, which operates three major hospitals in Columbia, abandoned its efforts April 9 after it was plagued for more than a year by legal and regulatory challenges.

Had the purchase been finalized, it would have taken the Columbia area down to two hospital systems — Prisma and Lexington Medical Center. And it would have made the state’s largest system even larger.