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Duke LifePoint Seals Regional Health System Deal

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 9, 2014

A senior LifePoint executive discusses the organization's 80%–20% partnership deal with Rutherford Regional. Negotiations for three more North Carolina hospitals in the third quarter of this year are underway.

Duke Life Point Healthcare has finalized an 80% ownership stake in North Carolina's Rutherford Regional Health System.

The not-for-profit health system becomes the fourth in North Carolina to enter the Duke LifePoint affiliation, and another three hospitals are expected to join Duke LifePoint by this fall, says Jeff Seraphine president, Eastern Group at Brentwood, TN-based LifePoint Hospitals.

"In just a few years we'll have gone from a new partnership to something like seven hospitals in the state of North Carolina, one in southwest Virginia, and then some others from a national scale including Michigan and Pennsylvania," Seraphine says. "It's a very good start to the partnership and most importantly we are doing some great things in our communities and creating the values we thought we could together."

Rutherford Regional, based in Rutherfordton, NC, serves a three-county region just west of Charlotte, with a network that includes more than 130 physicians and 700 clinical and support staff. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Duke LifePoint pledged $60 million for capital improvements and facilities upgrades, and the proceeds from the deal are expect to free another $30 million for community health and wellness projects.

In addition, Rutherford Regional's tax status will change to for-profit and the system will pay local property taxes.

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