UHS vote likely Tuesday

Published 1:51 am Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Board of Directors of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina could approve a contract for the operation of Washington’s hospital and affiliated medical practices as early as Tuesday, a UHS spokesman has told the Daily News.
The UHS board is scheduled to meet Tuesday at Chowan Hospital in Edenton, one of eight hospitals that comprise the Greenville-based health system.
It is likely that the board will vote on the pending agreement with Beaufort Regional Health System at that meeting, according to Beth Anne Atkins, public relations and social media specialist with UHS.
The contract, expected to be available to the public by the close of business Monday, will outline the terms of the lease/purchase agreement between UHS and BRHS.
It will be available for public inspection at the Beaufort County Manager’s Office at 121 W. Third St. in Washington.
Sept. 1 is the latest in a series of target dates for completion of the deal between the county, BRHS and UHS.
In January, following the withdrawal by Community Health Systems of its offer, the BRHS board voted to accept a lease-purchase offer from UHS and hoped to reach an agreement within 45 days.
In March, UHS lowered its offer for the 30-year lease-purchase agreement with BRHS from an earlier $30 million to $25 million in an amended Letter of Intent presented to members of the Beaufort Regional Health System Board of Commissioners.
That letter of intent also reduced the $10 million that UHS initially offered for the purchase of the BRHS property at the end of 30 years by “the amount of any Excluded Liabilities paid by UHS on BRHS or its affiliates behalf.”
The letter also stipulated that UHS will reserve the right “to require a portion of the prepaid lease payment to be placed in an escrow account for a reasonable period to be used by BRHS or its affiliates to pay any Excluded Liability.”
In early May, local officials announced that an agreement could be reached by mid-June. But in June, those same officials said they hoped to complete the deal sometime before the middle of September.
The ultimate decision on the fate of BRHS lies with the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.
The county commissioners and the BRHS board are scheduled to meet Thursday, Aug. 25, to vote on the deal.
Updates on the proposed contract, also known as “Transaction Documents,” and the vote by the Board of Directors of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina will be posted on the Daily News website as soon as they become available.