(03/29/2005)
The Hospital Corporation of America, the owner of St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg, is selling the facility by the end of the year.

HCA has announced plans to sell off ten hospitals, including four in West Virginia. The company is eliminating hospitals that provide services in non-urban areas.P> St. Francis in Charleston, Raleigh General in Beckley and Putnam General in Hurricane are also on the block.

Chairman Jack Bovender Junior says the sale will allow HCA to focus on urban markets.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based company, the nation's largest for-profit operator, also announced that it expects higher earnings for the first quarter thanks in part to more patients and better debt management.


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