The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners today unanimously approved an amendment to the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between Cleveland County and Carolinas HealthCare System.
The amended agreement will allow for the complete clinical and operational integration of Cleveland County HealthCare System (CCHS) with Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) and the enhancement of healthcare facilities and services for the benefit of the people of Cleveland County. Under the terms of the amended agreement, both parties agree to cancel the current long-term lease that runs through 2036 and the County will convey to Carolinas HealthCare System the real estate for Cleveland Regional Medical Center, Kings Mountain Hospital, Cleveland Pines Nursing Center, and other health care facilities.
The County will also convey to Carolinas HealthCare System the buildings and real estate for the County Health Department, Mental Health Center and Employee Wellness facilities; however the County will continue to operate these departments and facilities.
“This is the logical next step in our progressive, 20-year relationship with Cleveland County and Cleveland County HealthCare System,” said Carolinas HealthCare System CEO Michael Tarwater. “We will continue to invest in high quality clinical services and build upon a foundation of providing integrated systems of care for those who depend on Cleveland County HealthCare System.”
As part of the transaction, Carolinas HealthCare System will pay Cleveland County approximately $100 million and will assume all liabilities and obligations of the County in connection with Cleveland Regional Medical Center and other CCHS hospitals and facilities. Cleveland County will continue to operate the County Health Department, Mental Health Center and Employee Wellness facilities and will lease the buildings from Carolinas HealthCare System for two years for $1 per year.
The relationship between Cleveland County and Carolinas HealthCare System began in 1994 when Carolinas HealthCare System began managing what is now Cleveland Regional Medical Center and Kings Mountain Hospital. In 1997, the County and Carolinas HealthCare System replaced the management agreement with the original Interlocal Cooperation Agreement. Since that time, Carolinas HealthCare System has made significant improvements to healthcare services in Cleveland County, including additions in imaging, cancer care services, a Women’s Center, and a Level III Trauma Center designation for the hospital. Integration and unification continued with the merger of Cleveland Regional Medical Center and Kings Mountain Hospital, and today CCHS includes Cleveland Pines Nursing Center, Crawley Memorial Hospital, a clinical network of 64 physicians and advanced care professionals, and other facilities and services.
Working with the leadership of Carolinas HealthCare System, CCHS has gained financial stability and seen capital re-investment of more than $200 million.
“Carolinas HealthCare System has more than lived up to all of its commitments through the years,” said Cleveland County Board of Commissioners Chairman Ronald J. Hawkins. “We enjoy a level of quality care that we can be proud of and that also makes Cleveland County a great place to live and a desirable location for businesses that are bringing needed new jobs. We look forward to Cleveland County HealthCare System becoming an even more integral part of Carolinas HealthCare System. It is in the best interest of Cleveland County’s residents.”