Proposed North Carolina budget would restore Vidant Medical Center board makeup

A state budget proposal would revert Vidant Medical Center's hospital board "back to the status quo" of 11 county-appointed members and nine members appointed by UNC Board of Governors, according to a report from local news station WITN.

Under a 2013 affiliation agreement, Pitt County appoints 11 members to Greenville, N.C.-based Vidant Medical Center's board and UNC appoints nine. However, county commissioners voted to eliminate UNC's board seats in April, triggering a legal dispute. UNC sued Vidant over the board changes in May, alleging the shuffle violated their affiliation agreement. A judge granted a 10-day restraining order in May to temporarily stop changes to the board, and the groups entered mediation in early June. 

A previous budget proposal included a $35 million cut to Medicaid funding, which Vidant officials believed was added in retaliation for changing the makeup of its board. The latest proposal restores that funding, according to WITN.

"The funding was fully restored to Vidant," said state House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, according to WITN. "We also have fully approved the construction of the Brody School of Medicine in the skiff with significant funds to go in this year, and we've agreed that the governing board situation is going to go back to the status quo before — 55-45, so there's been a reset before all that."

State legislators expect to vote on the proposal this week.

This article was updated June 26 at 9:50 a.m. CT to correct an previous error regarding the ownership of Vidant Medical Center. Vidant is not owned by Pitt County or operated by UNC Health Care.  

 

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