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LifePoint, RCCH merger a done deal

LifePoint Health and RCCH HealthCare Partners have completed their merger and will now begin operating as one united company under the LifePoint Health name. 

Duke LifePoint — a partnership between Duke University and LifePoint Health — purchased Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde, Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva and Swain Community Hospital in Bryson City back in 2014, turning all three from nonprofit to for-profit systems. 

As part of the merged RCCH and LifePoint network, the three rural hospitals in Western North Carolina are part of a larger network of community hospitals, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute facilities that spans 30 states. It also means LifePoint’s common stock is no longer trading on NASDAQ and will now be a privately-owned company, according to the Associated Press. 

“This will give us new opportunities to grow and thrive in the rapidly evolving, competitive healthcare landscape,” a press release from Harris and Haywood Regional stated. “While there are great opportunities ahead, much about how our hospital operates today — including our dedication to our patients, employees, physicians, and community — will remain the same, and we do not anticipate any changes in how our patients access our hospital and healthcare providers. People throughout western North Carolina can continue to count on our committed staff and physicians at Haywood Regional to provide excellent care that makes our community healthier. We look forward to sharing more about the newly-expanded LifePoint Health as it relates to our community in the future.”

LifePoint and RCCH are both leading health care providers based out of Brentwood, Tennessee, where the joint company will remain. According to a LifePoint press release, combining these two companies will mean 2017 revenues of more than $8 billion as well as 7,000 affiliated physicians, about 60,000 employees and more than 12,000 licensed beds. 

The merger will give LifePoint a more diversified portfolio of health care assets, including 84 non-urban hospitals in 30 states, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute service providers, with leading market positions as the sole community health care provider in the majority of the regions it serves. 

The executive team that will lead LifePoint moving forward includes: David Dill, CEO; John Bumpus, Executive Vice President, Administration; Michael Coggin, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Victor Giovanetti, FACHE, Executive Vice President, Hospital Operations; Rob Jay, Executive Vice President, Integrated Operations; and Jennifer Peters, Executive Vice President and General Counsel.

“Today marks a historic moment for LifePoint Health and RCCH HealthCare Partners. We are officially one organization dedicated to providing high quality, community-based healthcare, and I am energized by the opportunities we have ahead of us to serve non-urban communities across the country,” Dill said in a press release. “Our collective teams — now united as the LifePoint Health team — share a dedication to delivering compassionate, quality care, and have a deep bench of expertise in helping healthcare providers in non-urban areas succeed. Together, we have the size, experience, resources and drive to be even greater leaders in transforming community-based healthcare for the future.”

The merger was first announced in late July of this year. According to a press release sent out at the time, RCCH is owned by “certain funds managed by affiliates of” Apollo Global Management, LLC, a private equity firm. Apollo’s purchase of LifePoint Health is a $5.6 billion deal and is the latest in a series of bets by private-equity firms on health care. LifePoint shareholders will receive $65 per share in cash for each share of LifePoint’s common stock they owned, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes.

If for-profit giant HCA Healthcare’s pending acquisition of Mission Health goes through as planned, there will be no remaining nonprofit hospitals left in the region. Mission operates Angel Medical Center in Franklin and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. 

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