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.