Physicians group formed to buy Lutheran Health Network dissolved

FILE - Lutheran Hospital

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Community Health Systems, the Tennessee based parent of Lutheran Health Network (LHN), and Fort Wayne Physicians, LLC, a group of doctors who attempted to buy LHN, issued a joint statement Thursday afternoon indicating the two sides are willing to mend fences over disagreements regarding the operation of Lutheran’s facilities in northeast Indiana.

According to the statement, the physicians who formed the LLC have dissolved it and will not take any action to find a new corporate partner for LHN.

Back in May, Community Health Systems rejected a $2.4 billion offer from Fort Wayne Physicians, LLC to buy the hospital system which includes Lutheran Hospital, Dupont Hospital and several other facilities.  At the time, Community Health Systems indicated the offer was “at least $1 billion below the fair market value” of LHN.

The news of the buyout offer came after Community Health Systems had pledged to invest $500 million into LHN.  A lack of investment into the health care system had been one of the concerns of Fort Wayne Physicians, LLC.

LHN CEO Brian Bauer was fired earlier this month in the aftermath and several other administrators were either let go or resigned.

In Thursday’s joint statement, the two sides admit there have been “disagreements on some important issues in recent months,” but despite the differences, “some positive developments have emerged.’

Here is the full text of the joint statement:

In light of the clear statement of Community Health Systems that it has no interest in selling Lutheran Health Network, the physicians who formed Fort Wayne Physicians, LLC announced today that they have dissolved the organization and will not take any action to find a new corporate partner for Lutheran Health Network. The former members of Fort Wayne Physicians, LLC and Community Health Systems have agreed to work together in support of the care and wellbeing of their patients and Lutheran Health Network’s long-term success.

Lutheran Health Network has a history of inspiring tremendous passion from its employees, medical staff and the Fort Wayne community because of its longstanding record of providing quality healthcare for patients. The former members of Fort Wayne Physicians, LLC and the management of Community Health Systems recognize the importance of continuing that commitment into the future.

While there have been disagreements on some important issues in recent months, we agree on the importance of respecting the unique perspectives we each bring to Lutheran Health Network. We are pleased that despite these differences, some positive developments have emerged from recent discussions, including a substantial capital commitment for Lutheran Health Network and wage increases for many of the hardworking employees across the network.

We are most proud of all the caregivers and support personnel across Lutheran Health Network and the difference they make in the lives of our patients and our community, every single day. We thank them for remaining relentlessly focused on patient care and we look forward to what we can all accomplish in the future.