It’s been almost six months since Mission Health was sold to for-profit HCA Health. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein visited two Mission Hospitals this week to see how the aftermath of the sale is transpiring. BPR caught up with him at Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard.
During the negotiations of the $1.5 billion dollar sale of Mission Health to HCA, the approval of the sale by the state Attorney General’s office was one of the biggest question marks. Stein called for a number of changes to the deal and now he’s checking in on whether HCA is keeping its promises. Stein says he was encouraged by his visit:
“They have a 10 year minimum commitment to all of these rural hospital but what I’m seeing is a real genuine commitment outside of that so we will keep an eye on HCA and hope that they continue to have that,” says Stein.
Stein met with hospital staff, which told him that greater access to data and money have been the biggest plus from the deal.
“One thing that I hear here as well as at McDowell is that the vast amounts of capital that HCA was able to bring to bear have been able to accelerate improvements that the hospital wanted to do even before HCA came along,” says Stein.
Transylvania Regional, the second largest hospital in the Mission system, is currently moving forward on plans to improve to its CT and MRI scanning operations as well as operating rooms.
Overall, Stein is cautiously optimistic about the deal.
“Obviously it’s still early - it’s only 6 months into the transaction - but I am encouraged by what I saw,” says Stein.
One of the stipulations Stein added for an independent monitor to oversee HCA and increased diversity on the board of Dogwood Health Trust Foundation - the nonprofit formed as a result of Mission’s sale. Right now, Stein’s office is in the process of vetting the company chosen by the boards of ANC and Dogwood. Stein says that decision will come in the next few weeks.
Update: A previous version of this story explained that an independent monitor would oversee Dogwood Health Foundation. The monitor will oversee HCA Health System.