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North Carolina health systems call off partnership talks

Citing uncertainties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Health has ended talks about becoming a successor to Asheboro, N.C.-based Randolph Health after Randolph emerges from bankruptcy.

Under a complex plan that had been in the works since November, Cone Health had planned to replace Randolph Health as the main healthcare provider in Randolph County, N.C. Randolph Health, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, would cease to exist after three years under the plan, according to the Triad Business Journal.

On March 31, Cone Health said it called off talks with Randolph Health because of obstacles to the successor plan that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Cone Health has completed its evaluation of a plan to work with Randolph Health on a new model of care, and we have decided we cannot be a potential successor health care organization for that community," Cone Health CEO Terry Akin said in a news release. "We did not reach this decision lightly, but we feel strongly that this is the best step for our organization and communities at the present time and under current circumstances."

Randolph Health CEO Angela Orth said the health system is already looking for another potential partner.

"COVID-19 has certainly caused a daunting environment, yet our singular focus at this time is safely providing care to our community, and I am sincerely grateful for our entire team who continues to show up on the frontlines each and every day," Randolph Health CEO Angela Orth said in a news release. "We anticipated the potential need to pursue other transaction and partnership options and this work is already underway."

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