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The Associated Press October 14, 2011, 10:43AM ET

Colorado AG approves HCA/HealthONE deal

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has approved HCA Holdings Inc.'s acquisition of Colorado Health Foundation's interest in their hospital joint venture, with conditions.

Suthers said Thursday that his office determined the $1.45 billion sale price of the foundation's 40 percent interest in HCA/HealthONE's seven Denver-area hospitals is fair and in the public's interest.

The parties have agreed none of the hospitals will close in the next five years. In addition, the system's board of community trustees, indigent-care policy and community-benefit program will continue for five more years beyond the 10 originally proposed.

Plus, Suthers says, $12 million earmarked for the community-benefit program will be compounded annually at the rate of increase in the Medicare reimbursement rate for 10 years and won't decrease even if the Medicare reimbursement rate does.

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