The finalists are: CoxHealth in Springfield, Missouri and LifePoint Hospitals based out of Brentwood, Tennessee.
"Our focus is on making available the highest quality care for our community," said David Smith, Chairman of the Skaggs Board of Directors. "The Board of Directors is searching for a partner that can provide strategic resources and capital, while supporting such things as physician recruitment, advances in technology and implementation of healthcare reforms."
Back in February the Board of Directors said the community-owned hospital needed to shift to a new way of operating because of factors like the evolving private insurance and national financial crisis.
William Mahoney, President and CEO of Skaggs says independent hospitals are finding it harder to find capital.
The hospital board decided to issue RFPs -- requests for proposal -- and send them to health systems to see if anyone is a good, strategic fit.
Financial records indicate the hospital is essentially breaking even. Mahoney says the uninsured takes a financial toll -- $35 million in bad debt the most recent fiscal year. The hospital hopes to retain all its employees.
"We are also looking to secure jobs and future growth and find a good cultural fit for Branson," said Smith. "I'm encouraged about the future of Skaggs and healthcare in our region. The interest expressed by our potential partners is not only gratifying but illustrates the great potential we have as an organization for serving the healthcare needs of our community for generations to come."
The two finalists will now enter into an intensive period of review. That could take 60 to 90 days. After the review process, the Board of Directors will sign a letter of intent with a single candidate. The Board of Trustees will have a final vote.
"We've been pleased by the response," Mahoney added. "Our potential partners have shared their enthusiasm for our growing, dynamic community and the improvements we've already put in place at Skaggs. This has been an affirming and exciting process for all of us."