Acquisition won’t strap Washoe |

Acquisition won’t strap Washoe

John Seeleyer

Washoe Health System officials don’t worry that their borrowings to purchase the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital will strap the Reno-based health company.

Even though Washoe Health also is building a major medical campus in South Meadows, President Jim Miller said the health system has comfortable borrowing capacity.

Washoe Health didn’t disclose the price it will pay for the HealthSouth facility when the deal closes, probably in mid-August.

Miller said the acquisition came together quickly in only about two months of talks after Washoe Health heard the troubled HealthSouth was looking to sell some facilities.

HealthSouth Corp.

has been under investigation by the U.S.

Justice Depatment and Internal Revenue Service for five months.

On Thursday, the same day the Washoe Health system deal was announced, two HealthSouth executives pleaded guilty to fraud, bringing to 14 the number of executives at the Birmingham, Ala., company who have pleaded guilty to accounting and tax fraud.

Although the acquisition move quickly, Miller said,Washoe Health long had eyed the HealthSouth facility as a possibility for growth.

Washoe Health got out of the rehabilitation hospital business in 1993 when HealthSouth entered the Reno market.

The 63-bed acute inpatient hospital provides in-patient and out-patient services.

It employs about 150 people, and Miller said all but a few managers will be asked to stay after the sale is complete.

Miller said the facility is in “very good shape” and won’t need significant capital investments by Washoe Health.