UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) invested $4.7 million in North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District to help the organization deliver quality primary health care services to residents in southern San Joaquin Valley.
UnitedHealth Group purchased North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District’s tax-exempt revenue bonds through the California Health Care Investment Program, which gives California health care entities access to capital at rates that are highly competitive with those of conventional financing. Additionally, given the dollar size of the bond issue, the hospital also qualified for a cost of issuance subsidy of about $490,000, which covered nearly the entire amount of the organization’s bond issuance costs. The cost of issuance was subsidized by UnitedHealth Group’s Capital Access Small Issuance Program.
UnitedHealth Group’s California Health Care Investment Program is a 20-year, $200 million commitment to health care organizations that provide services to underserved, low-income and underinsured communities and populations throughout the Golden State.
North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District (the “District”) will use the proceeds to install a new emergency generator and construct a 9,800-square-foot rural health clinic. The new clinic, to be named Gloria Nelson Center for Women and Children, will provide a range of health care services for women, children and their families.
The District currently operates a 141-bed skilled nursing facility that logs 50,000 inpatient days. So far this year, the District has recorded an occupation rate of 98.4 percent. The Gloria Nelson Center for Women and Children, which is expected to be completed in April 2011, will enable the District to begin providing outpatient services. Dan Murray, the District’s CEO, estimates the new facility will log more than 30,000 outpatient days each year.
Demand for health care services for women have been especially dire for Delano residents, Murray said, adding that about 60 percent of Delano women giving birth travel to hospitals outside the area. He also noted expanding health care access in Delano is critical for the community that has among the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the state.
“We’re grateful for UnitedHealth Group’s investment in our facilities and community. These funds are helping people, especially people who are poor and need help,” Murray said. “With the new facility, we’ll be able to expand access to health care services for those in our community who need it the most.”
“UnitedHealth Group’s investment in North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District is great news for our community,” said Delano Mayor Liz Morris. “These funds will give the District the opportunity to greatly expand and enhance health care services for the residents of this region.”
“UnitedHealth Group is committed to investing in California’s health care infrastructure to help ensure that all Californians have access to quality care,” said Steve Nelson, West Region CEO, UnitedHealthcare. “We are pleased to be able to help North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District meet its community’s health care needs. We believe it is essential that medically underserved residents in the southern San Joaquin Valley region continue to have this important health care resource in their community.”
UnitedHealth Group’s UnitedHealthcare business offers health benefits, including commercial and Medicare health plans, to more than 2.8 million Californians, and partners with about 50,000 physicians across the state.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (www.unitedhealthgroup.com) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of health benefit programs through UnitedHealthcare, Ovations and AmeriChoice, and health services through Ingenix, OptumHealth and Prescription Solutions. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million individuals worldwide.