Health Care

Public Hearing On NHRMC Takes Place Monday

By Vicky Janowski, posted Jun 22, 2020
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners holds a public hearing at 5 p.m. – both in-person and livestreamed – to discuss all six proposals to buy or partner with New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
The public hearing is required under state law after the county and hospital put out a request for proposals about NHRMC earlier this year. The hearing about the six proposals submitted by outside health systems originally was expected to take place in mid-April. But the social restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus delayed plans for a public meeting.
Not yet being able to hold a public hearing is one reason why all the proposals are technically still under consideration. But the process still moved ahead in recent months.
The 21-member Partnership Advisory Group (members), NHRMC trustees and county commissioners all voted unanimously to focus on a short list from the initial six proposals, moving forward with due diligence talks with Duke Health, Atrium Health and Novant Health.
HCA Healthcare, Mercy Health and UNC Health had also initially submitted proposals. Since then, UNC Health partnered up with one of the finalists, signing a letter of intent to say it and UNC School of Medicine would expand its existing presence at NHRMC if Novant Health is chosen at the end of the process.
PAG members also said they have been evaluating along the way options for the county-owned NHRMC to continue on as it is or restructure internally without an outside deal. Last week, the advisory group voiced support for selling the hospital, with members during their meeting saying that the benefits of going at it alone didn’t stack up and writing in a letter signed by all 21 members that they think a partnership is the right choice even over other limited partnership or joint venture models.
Any deal to sell NHRMC would have to be approved by the hospital trustees and the county commissioners.
Monday’s hearing takes place at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse in room 301. The community can attend the hearing and share comments, with social distancing guidelines in place. 

It will also be broadcast live on the county’s Facebook, and on NHCTV’s cable stations: Spectrum Channel 13 and Charter Channel 5. 
The meeting also will be available on the county’s website under “Special Meetings” after the hearing.
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