Randolph Health and Cone Health Explore Closer Affiliation
The organizations begin a period of due diligence with the goal of having a letter of intent by the end of May.
The governing boards of Randolph Health and Cone Health have entered into a period of due diligence to determine if closer ties between the organizations would benefit the communities they serve. Closer ties could be a merger, an acquisition or some other legal arrangement. The type of consolidation will be determined as part of due diligence if closer ties are warranted.
“Health care continues to change at an unprecedented rate,” says Steve Eblin, CEO, Randolph Health. “The demands for expertise in population health management, the costs of improved technology and lower payment from governmental sources make it difficult for health systems the size of Randolph to thrive. A stronger relationship with Cone Health will give Randolph Health the additional efficiencies, expertise and resources it needs to grow and continue providing outstanding health care for the communities we serve.”
The changing environment also challenges Cone Health. “We’ve made substantial investments in population health – efforts to keep people healthy and out of hospitals – as well as other initiatives,” says Terry Akin, CEO, Cone Health. “Being able to apply this expertise to more people improves their health and helps us lower the costs per person and Randolph Health is the perfect partner for us.”
It is too early in the process to speculate on the impact of any arrangement on specific health care services and other areas. However, the commitment to local health care is a top priority. “Our primary responsibility is to ensure local health care and growth in the services we provide. We want our communities to have the highest quality of care as cost-effectively as possible,” says Mac Pugh, chair, Randolph Health Board of Directors. “We believe that a deeper relationship with Cone Health will ensure our future and deliver benefits to our community that are not possible as a standalone community health system.”
Randolph Health and Cone Health entered into a management services agreement nearly a year ago. “We are very pleased with our management services agreement,” adds Eblin. “However, for the long term, it does not bring all of the resources and level of performance that a closer affiliation would achieve for Randolph Health and the people we serve.”
The organizations have a long and successful relationship that has improved health care through partnerships such as the Randolph Health Cancer Center and Randolph Health Stay Well Senior Care. The organizations are looking to build on that nearly 20-year, successful foundation.
“I have always been impressed by the similarities in culture between our two organizations, our commitment to patients and our communities,” says F. D. Hornaday, chair, Cone Health Board of Trustees. “While there are just as many questions as answers at this stage, I am excited about the possibilities for improving health care across our region.”
Randolph Health and Cone Health expect to sign a letter of intent outlining the relationship between the two organizations by the end of May.