The UNC Health Care System, which is eager to expand its reach beyond its home base in Chapel Hill, is in discussions with Pardee Hospital in western North Carolina about a possible partnership.
Details are still being worked out, but a sale of Pardee to UNC Health isn't being considered. Options could include UNC Health taking over management of Pardee and enhancing the hospital's services with its clinical expertise.
Pardee is a 222-bed hospital owned by the residents of Henderson County, south of Asheville. Smaller hospitals face increasing pressure to become part of larger health systems, especially as the federal health overhaul forces a wide range of industry changes designed to improve care and reduce costs.