Mission Health signs agreement to be acquired by HCA Healthcare

Purchase agreement ensures access to high quality care for everyone in western North Carolina and provides exceptional protections for rural communities

Mission Health’s Board of Directors announced on Aug. 31 that Mission Health and HCA Healthcare (HCA) have entered into a definitive agreement for HCA to acquire Mission Health. The Agreement will be sent to the North Carolina Attorney General for applicable regulatory review.

As part of its normal regulatory review process, the attorney general will evaluate any effect the transaction could have on market competition, whether HCA is paying a fair price for the acquisition and how proceeds resulting from the sale will continue to benefit western North Carolina.

The proceeds of the sale combined with Mission Health’s remaining cash and investments – after all debts and obligations have been paid – will ultimately be transferred to the newly formed Dogwood Health Trust whose sole mission is to dramatically improve the health and well-being of all people and communities of western North Carolina.

“From the very beginning, Mission Health’s Board worked diligently and continually to ensure that the very best path was selected for the people of western North Carolina and to make certain that our community has access to high quality, effective and compassionate care for generations to come,” said Mission Health Board Chair John R. Ball, MD, JD.  “After completing due diligence and finalizing definitive agreements that have significant protections for our rural communities, we are convinced that HCA Healthcare is the right and best choice for western North Carolina and Mission’s team members, providers and patients.  It is heartening to share that every single Mission Health member entity Board voted unanimously to approve this transaction.”

“Mission Health has an impressive, more than 130-year tradition of caring for communities throughout western North Carolina and we are delighted to have finalized our agreements so that we can help continue their legacy,” said Milton Johnson, HCA’s chairman and CEO. “As a healthcare provider founded by physicians 50 years ago ourselves, we share Mission Health’s focus on excellence and we look forward to investing in western North Carolina to improve the health of the region.”

Mission Health will continue to be managed locally while HCA brings its significant capabilities in operations, capital access, clinical trials, research, predictive modeling, analytics and more to augment Mission Health’s existing capabilities. HCA Healthcare Behavioral Health Services is one of the nation’s largest acute care psychiatric providers. HCA also brings a strong track record of assisting older adults in meeting their unique healthcare needs, and their system not only includes advanced geriatric care but also supports specialized geriatric emergency services and programs tailored to healthy aging.

“HCA’s Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute has been the clinical trial leader in the majority of approved cancer therapies in the last decade and roughly 60 percent (106 of 177) of HCA’s hospitals are on The Joint Commission’s list of Top Performers,” said John W. Garrett, MD, vice chair of the Mission Health Board.  “Also, we know how essential nurses are in delivering high quality, compassionate care; ten HCA Healthcare hospitals rank among only eight percent of hospitals nationwide that are Magnet-designated indicating the highest quality of nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.”

HCA Healthcare has agreed to pay approximately $1.5 billion for the assets of the Mission Health system. Under the terms of the definitive agreement, nearly all Mission Health facilities and clinics will become part of HCA while continuing to operate under the Mission brand. Importantly, HCA has committed to maintaining key clinical services for at least five years and keeping open all rehabilitation and acute-care hospitals for a minimum of 10 years, other than St. Joseph’s Hospital which was already planned for transition. Likewise, HCA has agreed not to sell any rehabilitation or acute-care hospital for a minimum of 10 years. None of these protections exist for Mission Health programs or facilities today.

Further, HCA Healthcare has committed to $430 million over five years in capital expenditures that include the completion of the Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine, building a replacement hospital for Angel Medical Center and building a new Behavioral Health hospital. Additionally, HCA will contribute $25 million, that when combined with a matching $25 million contribution from Mission Health, will create a $50 million innovation fund to invest in businesses providing innovations in health care delivery that benefit the people of western North Carolina.

“HCA Healthcare looks forward to providing high quality services to the residents of western North Carolina,” said Chuck Hall, president of HCA’s National Group. “I was delighted by my visits to western North Carolina, meeting with the terrific people there and touring so many wonderful facilities.  Mission Health’s national reputation as a leader in clinical excellence and patient-centered care is consistent with our focus on quality and safety.  Mission will be an exceptional addition to the HCA Healthcare family.”

“The Mission Health Board has been steadfast in its desire to truly improve the health status of the people of western North Carolina. They believe that joining HCA Healthcare is an extraordinary opportunity to build upon Mission Health’s exceptional quality, ensure that every entity within Mission Health has significant protections that it lacks today and to create a remarkable foundation that intends to invest in the social determinants of health,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, president and CEO of Mission Health. “HCA Healthcare has a strong track record of enhancing its hospitals’ operations and a proven history of investing in the communities it serves. The fact that we have ensured unprecedented protections for our rural communities in western North Carolina, enabled a $50 million innovation fund and created the Dogwood Health Trust all demonstrate how this transaction will be transformative for our region.”

To continue to stay informed, the public is encouraged to visit www.missionhealthforward.org.

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