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Prime Healthcare Services announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, located in Reno, from Dignity Health (formerly known as Catholic Healthcare West). The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of June 2012.

Saint Mary’s is a 380-bed acute-care hospital offering a wide array of medical and surgical services including a full-service emergency department with an accredited chest-pain center, women’s and children’s services, a cardiac-catherization lab and an open-heart surgery program.

Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center operates a Commission on Cancer-accredited cancer treatment program and was named the first nationally accredited breast center in Nevada. Saint Mary’s is the only hospital that provides the CyberKnife program for cancer treatments in Northern Nevada.

"In keeping with our mission of ‘saving hospitals, saving jobs and saving lives,’ we are proud to be able to save yet another hospital in our neighboring state,” said Prem Reddy, M.D., FACC, FCCP, chairman, president and CEO of Prime Healthcare Services. "We are committed to keeping substantially all the services open at the medical center.”

"We are pleased that Saint Mary’s will continue offering its high level of care and provide competition for health care services in the Reno area,” said Michael Blaszyk, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer for Dignity Health.

Saint Mary’s has experienced substantial financial losses in the recent years due to the economic downturn and insufficient reimbursement. Saint Mary’s lost over $43.5 million in net income in 2011. Prime Healthcare will invest $20 million to improve the infrastructure and operations of the hospital in addition to keeping essentially all the services open and will assume all health plan contracts and review them to protect the financial viability of the hospital.

Prime Healthcare has reached an agreement on a new contract with Saint Mary’s Health Plans, one of the area’s leading health plans. Prime Healthcare will also offer employment to substantially all of the hospital’s employees.