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Big hospital battle Down East blocks for-profit health system

Beaufort Regional Health System in Washington, NC, is looking to lease its hospital. Competing offers were made by Community Health Systems, a private chain based in Franklin, Tennessee, and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, the non-profit chain based in Greenville, NC.

Originally the board of Beaufort Regional Health System recommended that the hospital accept the bid by CHS. Introducing another private hospital into the state would raise some serious concerns for advocates. It raised concerns for the community and hospital employees too.

Rallies, protests, and a lawsuit convinced CHS to pull its $30 million offer. Now the county and the hospital board have to decide what to do.

It seems that most people in the community want University Health Systems. Beaufort is determined to make some money on the deal, which makes sense. But high quality, well integrated health care delivery should be the top priority.

6 Comments


  1. Lou Meyers

    January 14, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Decisions, decisions.

    A quick buck now for a handful of opportunists who probably don’t need the money or improved health care delivery for a community struggling to make ends meet.

    It’s a tough one!

  2. JeffS

    January 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Out of curiosity, have you researched the level of care each organization has historically provided? I have not, and as such would have no reason to assume a higher quality of one over the other four.

  3. Lou Meyers

    January 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    The for-profit model has failed us — the evidence is extensive, overwhelming and conclusive.

    A fresh approach is long overdue.

  4. Jeff

    January 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Lou, I work for a hospital, and I’ll tell you, no one I work with or for shows up in the morning for no profit. Let’s get rid of the CON in NC and see how well a free market, for profit hospital works out.

  5. […] Big hospital battle Down East blocks for-profit health systemThe Progressive PulseBeaufort Regional Health System in Washington, NC, is looking to lease its hospital. Competing offers were made by Community Health Systems, a private chain … […]

  6. Lou Meyers

    January 15, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Jeff, those providing MEDICAL CARE should be paid and paid well for their service and commitment. No one is suggesting otherwise.

    And, of course, in most cases, the free market model has proven that it is second to none in terms of providing quality and value. Again, no talk of change here. Yet, it becomes a danger to us — and in the long run it’s own very existence — with it’s potential to perversely transform our guardian and healing institutions into “your money or your life” shake down operations.

    Most other civilized countries have made this distinction and acted on it for the sake of it’s people. Disgracefully, in terms of health care, we have not.

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