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Haywood County selling its hospital

The Haywood County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the sale of county-owned MedWest Haywood hospital, which has had a series of patient care-related and financial problems.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that the parties had reached an agreement to sell the 169-bed facility in Clyde to Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System and investor-owned LifePoint Hospitals, for $26 million. The agreement calls for Duke LifePoint to spend $36 million on capital improvements to the facility over 10 years, Christina Deidesheimer, the hospital's marketing director, told the Asheville newspaper.
Because Haywood County owns the hospital, the agreement must be approved by the Board of Commissioners and the Haywood Hospital Authority.
Haywood County Commissioner Michael Sorrells told the Citizen-Times that the board is in favor of the sale.
"This gives our county the ability to have a strong hospital that will provide health care for our citizens for years to come," he said. "With the atmosphere of what's going on in health care, it was very important that MedWest Haywood find someone that would give them the ability to compete and continue to provide health care in our area."

Pardee Hospital, also county-owned, is governed by a Board if Directors made up of appointees by the Board of Commissioners, its management partner UNC Health Care and the Pardee board. The 222-bed community hospital has had better success fighting the headwinds of federal budget cuts, indigent care costs and other financial challenges in health care delivery.