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Duke LifePoint finalizes sixth hospital deal


By Bob Herman
Posted: June 5, 2014 - 1:30 pm ET
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Duke LifePoint Healthcare has closed on its acquisition of Rutherford Regional Health System, Rutherfordton, N.C., marking its sixth transaction since its inception 3½ years ago.

The joint venture will give Duke LifePoint an 80% ownership stake and Rutherford the remaining 20%. Duke LifePoint will invest $60 million during the next 10 years into new equipment, technology and renovation projects, and the organization will also pay off Rutherford's debt and establish community wellness programs. Rutherford, which will shift from not-for-profit to taxpaying, will have equal board representation from both organizations.

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“As part of Duke LifePoint, we will have a wealth of resources and expertise to help us strengthen our system, better serve our communities and offer new opportunities to our employees,” Rutherford CEO Cindy Buck said in a news release. “We are excited to begin planning for our future and how we can further advance the health of people in this region.”

Duke LifePoint, a joint venture formed in 2011 between not-for-profit Duke University Health System in Durham, N.C., and publicly traded LifePoint Hospitals, based in Brentwood, Tenn., now has four hospitals in North Carolina, one in Virginia and one in Michigan. Duke LifePoint is in the process of adding Conemaugh Health System, a three-hospital network based in Johnstown, Pa. That deal is expected to close this fall.

Follow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman


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