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Asheville Watchdog

  • The Mission Health system could have been purchased by another nonprofit hospital chain in a deal that would have been at least as good if not better than the $1.5 billion sale that the hospital system’s board ultimately approved to HCA Healthcare in 2018, a former top Mission executive now says.
  • An Asheville attorney was arrested June 15th on six felony charges related to Buncombe County real estate deals, and her client, a woman already charged with fraud, was arrested on 32 additional counts of felony forgery. Lisa K. Roberts was charged with forging her uncle’s signature on deeds, mortgages, and checks, and the attorney, Ilesanmi “Ile” O. Adaramola, was charged with notarizing the signature on legal documents.
  • The flagship Mission Hospital provided a level of care that helped put Asheville on national lists as one of the top places to retire. As recently as 2018, for the sixth time in the previous seven years, Mission Health was named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by IBM Watson Health.But also in 2018, in a surprise decision, Mission’s board of directors voted to sell the successful nonprofit to HCA Healthcare — the largest for-profit hospital chain in the U.S., with a reputation for cost-cutting and skimping on staff. Soon after taking over, HCA raised prices across the board, and complaints about staffing and quality of care began rising as well. Many retirees and former patients said they were angered and disillusioned.Some local residents, including those who spent their careers in medicine, are now traveling to other cities or even other states for their health care.
  • After profit-focused HCA Healthcare took over nonprofit Mission Health in 2019, management cut positions from housekeeping to food service. Now, an overburdened nursing staff often has to change soiled linens and empty trash — while the number of patients each nurse is assigned to care for each shift has sometimes doubled.Asheville Watchdog examined dozens of formal complaints filed by registered nurses with their union alleging unsafe conditions at Mission in the past 10 months. The forms, along with interviews with current and former nurses, paint a picture of a hospital that was once highly regarded and a source of community pride, but that has degenerated, the nurses said, into a punishing workplace, where staffing reductions and shortages have diminished the quality of care.
  • Asheville Watchdog counts 223 departures of doctors since HCA Healthcare purchased Mission Health Sytem in 2019. Two prominent physician groups quit the Mission Health system in the first two weeks of 2022.
  • There were no requests for bids. Other than the giant for-profit Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the board of Mission Health held substantive discussions with only two other potential partners: Novant and Atrium. Only Novant was invited to make a formal offer to counter the one Mission executives had solicited from HCA six months earlier.“In the end," a North Carolina Department of Justice investigator wrote, "an outside observer could conclude that HCA rose to the top among a limited number of bidders because the deck had been stacked in its favor from the beginning" by Dr. Ronald A. Paulus, then Mission Health's president and CEO, and Philip D. Green, Paulus's long-time friend and strategic advisor.Watchdog managing editor Peter H. Lewis and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sally Kestin found those revelations — and many, many more — among more than 6,000 records released by the office of Attorney General Josh Stein in partial response to public records requests filed by Asheville Watchdog over the past two years.
  • Computers, phones seized from Asheville woman's home
  • ‘I was on the path to losing my house,’ homeowner says