‘We are open for business’: Randolph Health CEO talks about hospital’s future

ASHEBORO, N.C. -- The CEO of Randolph Health wants to set the record straight about the hospital’s financial situation.

Angela Orth sat down with FOX8 to talk about what is being done to make sure doors stay open for patients.

“We remain very confident about our future,” Orth said.

Orth says she understands the importance of a local hospital. Randolph Health serves more than 140,000 people.

“Many patients don't have transportation,” Orth said. “Many patients don't have support at home. They just don't have the ability to drive 30 minutes for care.”

Orth said they knew about three years ago that the hospital needed a major partner. After talks with Cone Health fell through last year, they’ve had no luck solidifying a new deal.

“We have talked with a lot of hospital systems,” Orth said.

Now, executives and board members have turned to the county and the City of Asheboro for help.

“We believe that we're not going to be able to solve this on our own,” Orth said.

The CEO admits they’ve asked for money, but won’t say how much. The hospital also wants help contacting legislators so they know the possible economic impact to the state.

Randolph County is home to the North Carolina Zoo and a megasite.

Meanwhile, the hospital has worked to save money. They lost $5.1 million in six months last year. This year, they lost is $760,000 in that same amount of time.

“We are very impressed with our progress,” Orth said.

FOX8 asked how long the hospital could run without a partner.

“I really would be hesitant to say, this is a very fluid situation,” Orth said.

She says they need to find a partner as soon as possible.

“There is just not a way that we can remain independent for any long long-term,” she said.

Even with the urgency long-term, right now she wants patients to know the hospital is stable.

Orth says day-to-day operations are running smoothly, most positions are filled and they have enough money to pay employees.

“We want the community to know that we are open for business,” Orth said. “We are here for them.”

This week, she is expecting to hear back from a committee made up of city and county officials who are looking at ways to help the hospital.

Orth said there are several reasons why the hospital and all rural hospitals across the country are struggling. Declining reimbursement rates, the economic situation in the communities and a lack of funding sources are some of the examples that she gave.

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