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North Carolina system to sever ties with Atrium, join UNC Health

Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, a two-campus system in Morganton, N.C., plans to cut ties with Atrium Health and partner with UNC Health, the organization announced April 22. 

The hospital system said its board of directors approved a nonbinding letter of intent to become part of the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Health network through a management services agreement. 

Under the management services agreement, CHS Blue Ridge will have access to UNC Health's resources but will continue to own its assets.

CHS Blue Ridge said that joining UNC Health will allow it to strengthen rural healthcare throughout the state, enhance medical capabilities of providers and expand services. 

The new partnership means CHS Blue Ridge will exit its decadeslong management services agreement with Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health. CHS Blue Ridge didn't share a timeline for the exit, but said it hopes to finalize the agreement with UNC Health by the end of the year. 

"We wish CHS Blue Ridge success with its future endeavors. Our commitment to provide personalized care close to home and in the home across rural parts of our state and region remains as strong as ever, from Anson to Cleveland, to Wilkes and Surry counties and beyond," Atrium told the Charlotte Business Journal. "We are proud of how we have partnered with Blue Ridge to become a financially stable, high quality and sustainable healthcare system, with its most successful years in its history."

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