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Jul 20, 2011
11:24 AM
The Daily Scoop

County Approves Pardee-UNC Health Management Agreement

By a 4-1 vote Wednesday, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners endorsed the proposed management agreement between Pardee Hospital and the UNC Health Care System.

By a 4-1 vote Wednesday, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners endorsed the proposed management agreement between Pardee Hospital and the UNC Health Care System.

Hendersonville Scoop

WHAT HAPPENED? By a 4-1 vote Wednesday, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners endorsed the proposed management agreement between Pardee Hospital and the UNC Health Care System.

WHY DO YOU CARE?  County owns the property and is ultimately responsible to the citizen’s for running it effectively. Last month, Pardee’s Board of Directors approved the management agreement and in the ultra-competitive health care field the Hendersonville hospital is more of a player than ever before.

HOW DID IT GO DOWN? In April, representatives of the Chapel Hill-based organization told both Pardee Hospital’s Board of Directors and the Henderson County Board of Commissioners about what they could bring to a proposed management agreement between their organization and the Hendersonville health care facility.

For a management fee of $180,000, UNC promised to improve Pardee’s offerings in the fields of comprehensive cancer care (through the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the NC Cancer Hospital), spine and orthopedic care (through the work of the UNC Imaging and Spine Center) and the positive aging program (through the UNC Center for Aging and Health). Pardee could also incur added cost savings and efficiencies through the relationship.

Wednesday the commissioners, who have had their share of squabbles both public and private with the hospital’s board of directors, largely agreed the UNC affiliation was a good thing.

“I’m in favor of it and feel good about it,” said Commissioner Tommy Thompson. “This is a good step and we’ve done the right thing. We will take the next step, and there are many more, as they come.”

However, that opinion was not universal, as Commissioner Bill O’Connor said he could not vote to support the agreement.

“I am opposed because the UNC system is a tax-payer supported entity to the tune of $18 million dollars and that put them that much more ahead in the running,” O’Connor said. “I have every confidence they will do a good job, but they had a leg up paid for by the taxpayers.”

O’Connor noted there were not competing bids presented in the proposal.

“Every indication is that they are more than able to do the job and I hope we keep an eye on them as we go along,” he added. “I look forward to a successful working agreement. We grant them the authority, but we are the ones who bear the feducial responsibility for the hospital.”

WHAT’S NEXT?  New Pardee CEO James Kirby, an employee of UNC Health Systems, starts his new job in Hendersonville Aug. 1.

Read his thoughts on what's going on with the county-owned hospital here.

Correspondent Jonathan Rich may be contacted at jonathan@hvillescoop.com.

 

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