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Cone Health joins Carolinas HealthCare System in management agreement

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TWC News: Cone Health joins Carolinas HealthCare System in management agreement
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GREENSBORO -- Cone Health has teamed up with Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System. The hospitals said a new 10-year management services agreement will allow them to provide a wider range of high level, cost-effective care.

"I've been with Cone my entire career, so I want to see what's right for this health system and this community, for me, this is an exciting step," said Tim Rice, president and CEO of Cone Health.

Rice said discussions about the deal have been underway for about nine months, but the contract was signed earlier in June.

"Our industry in health care is undergoing tremendous changes, real big financial pressures. We're all trying to improve what we're doing in terms of the quality, the service and the cost and if we're serious about doing something about cost, we have to be much more efficient," said Rice.

Rice said employees and patients will not be affected under the deal; with the exception of five top executives, including Rice, who will work for Carolinas HealthCare System, but will be leased to Cone Hospital and will remain in Greensboro.

Rice said the agreement will include an undisclosed monthly fee, but he explained "We believe that there's a two to three times return back to us on savings."

The agreement is expected to enhance clinical excellence, while offering a broader range of healthcare services.

"The patients won't see any difference, this is all backroom things that we'll be working on just to improve their experience, so for them it's a positive in that we'll continue to just get better and better for their own clinical care and experience," said Rice.

Cone Health's pending merger with Alamance Regional Medical Center will not be affected.

If all goes as planned, that will likely be finalized by September. Changes from the hospitals agreement with Carolinas HealthCare System will formally go into effect Oct. 1.

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