Randolph Health

Randolph Hospital in Asheboro has moved closer to a long-sought merger.

RANDOLPH COUNTY — Randolph Health has moved closer to a long-sought merger to preserve the primary health care provider in Randolph County through a sale valued at more than $10 million.

The bankruptcy court has approved an amended sales agreement with California-based American Healthcare Systems, Randolph Health Interim CEO Michael Miller said Monday.

Randolph Health filed for reorganization bankruptcy protection in March 2020 through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The court this past October initially approved the sale to American Healthcare Systems to move forward.

The purchase price for Randolph Health will be $10.2 million.

“This is all positive news and gets us closer to a final transaction with American Healthcare Systems, LLC, later this summer,” Miller said in a statement.

The Randolph Health merger has to clear one final state regulatory hurdle: The state Attorney General’s Office has to approve the sale of a nonprofit, such as Randolph Health, to a for-profit enterprise.

Miller said that the Attorney General’s Office has “verbally approved the transaction with American Healthcare Systems.”

A public affairs representative with state Attorney General Josh Stein told The High Point Enterprise on Monday that there was no announcement yet on a decision about the review of the Randolph Health proposal.

Randolph County Board of Commissioners Chairman Darrell Frye told The Enterprise that the merger will bring stability to the future of the health system and Randolph Hospital in Asheboro. Randolph Health officials have been candid during the past three years in saying the deteriorating fiscal position of the health system requires a merger or financial partner.

Frye said the merger assures a hospital will continue serving communities throughout Randolph County.

“Secondly, it gives a lot of stability to the employees at that hospital,” Frye said. “They know they will have a place to go to work every morning.”

With 1,100 employees, Randolph Health ranks among the five largest employers in the county.

The Randolph County Board of Commissioners played a direct role in the merger. On behalf of Randolph Health, the commissioners applied for a $12 million loan through the state Rural Health Care Stabilization Act. The N.C. General Assembly created the hospital loan fund to help preserve smaller medical centers in rural areas.

The $12 million for the Randolph Health merger will essentially serve as a bridge loan helping with the financial transition to the new ownership.

pjohnson@hpenews.com | 336-888-3528 | @HPEpaul

pjohnson@hpenews.com | 336-888-3528 | @HPEpaul