Randolph Health to present plan on future of hospital for the county

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ASHEBORO, N.C. -- After months of plans, designs and meetings, Randolph Health believes that they have found the best option to save their patients' ability to get medical care.

It involves the county borrowing millions of dollars from the state and an outside health center building a new health care facility in Randolph County.

On Thursday, Randolph County Commissioners and representatives from Randolph Health will host a public hearing. This will allow them to fully address the public and hear their thoughts on the proposed plan.

“It’s a very important decision and it’s a very historic decision,” Randolph Health CEO Angela Orth said.

Their proposed plan includes Randolph County applying to borrow $20 million from the state under a rural hospital loan program.

Their application will be reviewed by representatives at the University of North Carolina. One of the crucial steps in making sure their application is approved is the county having an outside health care organization coming into the same area to establish a health facility.

Talks are currently going on with Moses Cone Health to be that entity.

During a three year period, Moses Cone Health would develop their facility in Randolph County.

“They would use their own money and they would come in and build out a whole new model of care,” Orth said.

While they are doing that, Randolph Health will be going through internal changes.

They will file for bankruptcy and will create a new corporation and board under the Randolph Health umbrella.

Over the course of three years, while Moses Cone Health would develop their site, Randolph Health will be collecting that $20 million from Randolph County. This will be done on a needed basis and will go to keep operations running at Randolph Health.

After that three-year mark, the new hospital facility should be established by Moses Cone Health. At that time Randolph Health will turn over health care patients and operations to Moses Cone Health. Randolph Health would then close.

Orth explained that there is a lot of details that need to be ironed out for this to work. There is still a matter of where the new hospital will be located, what will happen to the old building and how would medical records be transferred over - just to name a few.

When asked about employees, Orth said she is confident that Randolph Health care workers would be able to make the transition to Mose Cone Health.

Orth explained that this is their only plan.

“Absent the funding, we really do not have an additional plan. The hospital will likely to close if we are not awarded the funds,” in 2020, she said.

When asked about how the health facility got to be $21 million in debt, the CEO explained that the hospital has improved tremendously over the years. However, the 2008 recession hit them, and all rural hospitals, hard and put them in a place that they cannot get out of by themselves.

As for the borrowed $20 million by the county, it would pay it back to the state over 20 years.

More details will be discussed at the public hearing on Thursday. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Historic 1909 Courthouse, 145 Worth St., Asheboro.

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