WASHINGTON A closing agreement with the IRS that permitted a Houston hospital to retain its tax-exempt status also allowed it to move forward last week with a delayed $161.27 million bond issue for a new wing, a lawyer for the hospital said yesterday.

The agreement, which resolved Internal Revenue Service concerns about the way Hermann Hospital recruited and retained doctors, required the 501 (c)(3) hospital to pay nearly $1 million to the service, said R. Todd Greenwalt, a lawyer with Vinson & Elkins in Houston

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