In WakeMed's letter of intent (PDF), Bill Atkinson, president and CEO, and Billie Redmond, chair of the WakeMed board, contend the deal would provide a much-needed cash infusion for UNC Health Care at a time when the state's budget is in crisis. WakeMed would pay enough to net UNC Health Care, and ultimately, the state, $750 million, after accounting for any debt Rex has, Atkinson said during a news conference.
Combining Rex and WakeMed also would eliminate duplication of services and lower costs for patients, according to the letter.
WakeMed's bid comes a little more than six months after the system filed a public records request with UNC Health Care seeking documents related to Rex's communications with physicians who are on staff at WakeMed's hospitals. WakeMed contended that state funding of the UNC system was allowing Rex to compete unfairly for employing and partnering with physicians.
WakeMed and Rex also are competing with Novant Health, Winston-Salem, N.C., to supply new inpatient beds in Wake County. Booming population growth in the county has triggered an additional 101 inpatient beds in the State Medical Facilities Plan.