Many moving parts to hospital sale
The sale of the hospitals in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties to Duke LifePoint has entered the final stages but is still several weeks, and possibly even a few months away.
“We are moving through due diligence right now,” said Janie Sinacore-Jaberg, CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center. “As much as I would like to give you a time frame, I have learned not to give timelines because they always change.”
Initial estimates pegged the transaction wrapping up by the end of March. But logistics are still being negotiated.
The acquisitions are still in process, assured Diane Huggins, vice president of communications with LifePoint, but she deferred to the local hospitals for any other details.
There are many moving parts to the sale. For starters, the MedWest partnership forged four years ago between Haywood Regional and WestCare, which includes the hospitals in Jackson and Swain counties, will dissolve. Sorting out the assets and finances that were mingled under MedWest — known as “truing up” in the accounting world — is bound to be complex.
The sale of Haywood Regional was forged as a separate transaction from Duke LifePoint’s deal with WestCare, but they are contingent on each other.
“We must close both of these deals at the same time and that adds a whole ‘nother flavor to things,” Jaberg said.
Another factor is the physician practices owned by the hospital, which will also come under Duke LifePoint as part of the sale.
Yet another player in the sale is Carolinas HealthCare, a hospital management company with a long-term contract to oversee MedWest. That contract is being severed.
“There’s a lot I can’t tell you because I still have confidentiality requirements to meet,” Jaberg said. “There is a lot going on and there is not a quiet moment in the hospital.”
But the patient experience and quality of care is still the top priority.
Jaberg’s message to hospital staff: “Let me take care of this stuff, and let them take care of patients.”
Community meetings planned
Haywood Regional Medical Center is hosting a series of community meetings aimed at better serving patients’ health care needs and expectations.
“I continue to be interested in knowing how our community thinks we are doing, because this is their community hospital,” said Haywood Regional CEO Janie Sinacore-Jaberg.
The meetings are a follow-up to a similar series held last spring. Feedback from those meetings will be recapped, as well as new initiatives and services at the hospital, and an update on the sale of the hospital.
“It’s a very exciting time for our community hospital,” said Jaberg.
The meetings include:
• Wednesday, April 2, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Haywood Community College.
• Tuesday, April 8, from noon to 1 p.m. in the classrooms at the MedWest Haywood Health & Fitness Center.
• Thursday, May 1, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the town hall in Maggie Valley.
• Monday, May 5 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre Annex in Canton.