Struggling Iowa hospital explores for-profit status with Plano company

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — Marshalltown’s struggling hospital is talking to a Texas company about becoming a for-profit hospital.

Central Iowa Healthcare officials announced Tuesday that they will be negotiating with LHP Hospital Group Inc., of Plano, Texas, along with officials from Mary Greeley Medical Center of Ames, which would be part of the joint venture.

The Marshalltown hospital has been operating as a nonprofit charity, exempt from most taxes.

The system operates the 49-bed Marshalltown hospital as well as clinics in Marshalltown, Conrad, State Center and Toledo. Public reports show the system lost $3.8 million in 2013 and $1.8 million in 2014. System CEO John Hughes says the 2015 report also will show a loss.

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Hughes says the system has been too small to take advantage of economies of scale.