Mission Health

The sale of Mission Health to HCA made be concluded as a financial transaction, but the details of how it was reached are few and far between.  Peter Lewis of AVL Watchdog wrote two stories last month (here and here) examining what details about how Mission reached its agreement with HCA, and whether the then non-profit health system sold for far less than it was worth.  He spoke with BPR's M

Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust, the foundation created to disburse the profits of the sale of Mission Health, is required to host an annual public meeting. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the meeting was hosted via Zoom this week.  

About 600 people virtually attended Dogwood Health Trust's first annual public meeting. 

Janice Brumit, chair of the Dogwood board, reports the foundation has given out about $40 million in total across the 18-county region it covers including the Qualla Boundary.

Mission Sale: Good For WNC, Or Just HCA?

Oct 23, 2020

Years from now, the decision in 2018 by the directors of Mission Health to sell to HCA Healthcare might be seen as a brilliant strategic maneuver, one that guaranteed affordable, high-quality healthcare for future generations of western North Carolinians. This was, and still is, the position of the directors and executives who pushed the deal.

A Done Deal: How Mission Health Wooed HCA

Oct 20, 2020

The news stunned Asheville and Western North Carolina, where Mission Health System Inc. was the area’s largest employer, its main healthcare provider, and a long-time source of civic pride. Seemingly out of the blue, Mission’s directors publicly announced on March 21, 2018, that they had voted to sell the 133-year-old nonprofit to HCA Healthcare, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, for an estimated $1.5 billion.

Courtesy of American Journal of Surgery

Since March, more than 9,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in BPR’s Western North Carolina listening area.  Most of those cases end up at the region’s biggest hospital, Mission in Asheville.  Dr. William Hathaway is Chief Medical Officer there. He says the hospital has been following CDC guidelines around patient testing.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Nurses at Mission Health's hospital in Asheville are currently voting on whether to join a union, National Nurses United.

Courtesy of Mission Health

A New York Times investigation found of the 60 wealthiest hospital chains in the country, at least 36 have laid off, furloughed or reduced the pay of employees as they try to save money during the pandemic despite receiving funding from the CARES Act.  HCA Healthcare, the owners of the Mission Health system, is included in the report.  HCA system received about $1 billion in bailout funds and is one of the world’s wealthiest hospital chains.

Pandemic Put Pause On Mission's Troubles

May 15, 2020

 

The biggest health crisis in a lifetime hit Asheville shortly after the one-year anniversary of the biggest upheaval in local healthcare: the $1.5 billion sale of the nonprofit Mission Health System to HCA Healthcare, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital management chain.

HCA Healthcare

Mission Health says it will be taking down triage tents it placed outside of its hospitals, while also beginning to re-schedule procedures that had to be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In February, Attorney General Josh Stein sent HCA Healthcare a letter requesting answers by this week about allegations the healthcare system is not following through agreements it made when the for-profit firm purchased Mission Health last year. 

Those answers were due at the end of March – this past Tuesday.  Stein says he has given HCA more time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Hospitals in Western North Carolina are bracing for what’s being called a “surge” in Coronavirus cases in the coming days and weeks. 

Lilly Knoepp

Macon County’s Local Disaster Preparedness Team met this morning to talk about where the county stands as the coronavirus, also known as  COVID-19, continues to be a threat to the country. Local hospital officials, law enforcement, public school and health department officials came together to coordinate plans to keep the community safe. 

 

Their main message: Right now, there are no coronavirus cases in North Carolina. 

 

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blew the cover on some big Western North Carolina news

during a rally in Winston-Salem Thurs.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blew the cover on some big Western North Carolina news during a rally in Winston-Salem Thurs.

Lilly Knoepp

The independent monitor overseeing HCA’s compliance with the agreements it made when it bought Mission Health has completed its round of public meetings.  BPR’s Lilly Knoepp talked with Gibbins Advisor’s co-founder about what’s next: 

During the first two months of this year, Gibbins Advisors held 7 public meetings in Mission Health’s service area.  Ron Winters estimates over 600 people attended those meetings to share their experiences on how healthcare at Mission facilities has changed since HCA bought the health system in February of last year. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Concerns over patient care and staffing levels dominated Monday evening’s public meeting in Asheville held by the independent monitor overseeing HCA’s purchase Mission Health.  

Lilly Knoepp

Since Mission Health’s sale to for-profit HCA, the six local legacy foundations have given out about $12 million in grants to 169 organizations. Let's take a deeper look at the foundations and the organizations they funded:  

In the great room of Wildcat Cliffs Country Club in Highlands, representatives from 26 organizations were welcomed by the Highlands-Cashiers Health Foundation: 

“Good evening, it’s such an honor to welcome you all to our inaugural grant awards.”  

Logo Courtesy of Gateway Wellness Foundation

Gateway Wellness Foundation announced it has awarded $550,000 in grant funding to local nonprofits. The legacy foundation is based in Marion. It previously supported Mission Hospital McDowell and now supports Burke, McDowell, Polk, and Rutherford Counties. 

Lilly Knoepp

The independent monitor chosen to oversee HCA Healthcare’s operation of the Mission Health system has scheduled informational sessions across Western North Carolina.  Gibbins Advisors was named the independent monitor at the end of October. Their role as independent monitor was a stipulation of Mission Health’s $1.5 billion sale to the for-profit hospital. The company is tasked with overseeing HCA’s compliance with the obligations it agreed to when it purchased Mission.  

Matt Peiken | BPR News


Mission Health is a hospital, not a contemporary art center. But you wouldn’t know that from browsing the public areas—and, if circumstances bring you there, to the patient and waiting rooms—of Mission’s new North Tower.

There, you’ll find sculpture, etchings, woodcuts, photographs and one-of-a-kind paintings—some 659 artworks in all, from more than 150 Western North Carolina artists. All of it created on commission, and purchased, by Mission Health.

Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust has announced a fund to help local organizations hire grant writers. 

It’s called the Leverage Fund, explains Antony Chiang, Dogwood’s new CEO.

 

Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has approved Gibbins Advisors as the independent monitor of HCA Healthcare. The healthcare consulting firm based in White Plains, New York will be responsible for watching over HCA as outlined in the asset purchase agreement with Stein. 

“That commitment to engaging with local communities, along with the monitor’s qualifications, led me to direct my office to consent to the selection of this monitor,” says Stein in a press release. 

Photo courtesy of HCA Healthcare

Mission Health reached a deal with health insurer Cigna before their contract lapsed. 

The Asheville hospital system reach a deal with the insurance company on October 30, just shy of the November 1 deadline. 

The multi-year agreement ensures that all Cigna patients will remain in-network. This deal covers Mission Health, an operating division of HCA Healthcare, which includes the surrounding five rural hospitals. Only Mission Hospital was in danger of going out of network.

Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust, the nonprofit foundation created by the sale of Mission Health to for-profit HCA, has chosen its initial CEO. 

Antony Chiang, president of Empire Health Foundation, has been chosen as the initial CEO of Dogwood.  He has been president of he organization for the last nine years. It is similar to Dogwood but based in Spokane, Washington. 

Photo courtesy of NC Rural Center

Jackson County resident and executive director of the Southwestern Commission Sarah Thompson is the newest member of the Dogwood Health Trust Board.  Officially known as the  Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission, the regional council of government works with the seven westernmost counties on technical, economic and planning resources.   “I think it's an incredible opportunity for all of WNC, and I'm thrilled to be able to bring my perspective on rural community and economic development to the board,” says Thompson in an email.   Thompson is 14th member of

Mission Health

Mission Hospital has a new CEO at the helm.

On Tues., Mission Health announced in a news release Chad Patrick will serve as CEO for HCA Healthcare’s Mission Hospital, effective in mid- July.

The 763-bed Mission Hospital in Asheville is the flagship hospital for HCA Healthcare’s North Carolina Division.

Lilly Knoepp

The sale of Mission Health System to HCA, created the Dogwood Health Trust. Mission Health has also announced the creatation of a foundation to specifically represent the six westernmost counties in NC.

 

Nantahala Health Foundation will represent Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

North Carolina attorney general Josh Stein will give his blessing to the proposed sale of Mission Health to HCA.  That means Western North Carolina's major health system will go from a non-profit to a for-profit in the coming months.  But before he gave his approval, Stein announced several changes to the proposed sale contract between the two sides after hearing from concerned community members and groups.  Stein made the announcement Wednesday afternoon in Asheville.

Lilly Knoepp

The Mission Health-HCA deal is still being reviewed by Attorney General Josh Stein but Dogwood Health Trust - the nonprofit organization that will be formed with the proceeds from the sale - is already speaking to the community about the best ways to help local nonprofits in the region.

Lilly Knoepp

Former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon visited Asheville last month to hear from concerned residents about Mission Health’s proposed sale to HCA.  Here’s more on what has happened since that meeting.

 

Risa Larsen is a member of the SEARCH committee. Based in Yancey and Mitchell counties, SEARCH stands for Sustaining Essential and Rural Community Healthcare. They have been one of the most outspoken groups outside of Asheville voicing their concerns about nonprofit Mission Health’s sale to for-profit HCA.

 

Pages