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Novant Health's $5.3B deal for North Carolina hospital approved

The New Hanover County Commissioners voted to approve Novant Health's $5.3 billion deal to purchase New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C.

Five things to know:

1. The commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the definitive agreement. The deal will now head to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office for final approval. The closing process is expected to be completed by June 30, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. 

2. In July, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health won a bid to partner with the medical center. It was competing with two other health systems. The vote gave Novant Health the green light to sign a letter of intent to partner with, manage or own the county-run hospital. 

3. Under the agreement, Novant Health committed to investing more than $5 billion in the medical center. The commitment includes more than $1.5 billion in upfront cash for the medical center and $3.1 billion for various capital projects. Novant said the financial commitment to the New Hanover hospital will ensure support for "information technology and quality initiatives, improvements to existing facilities, new construction and other strategic capital."

4. Advocacy group Save Our Hospital filed a lawsuit seeking to stall the vote to gather more public records about the deal, but in late September, Superior Court Judge Phyllis Gorham rejected the legal complaint. 

5. "We are honored the county commissioners voted to approve Novant Health moving forward in this partnership with New Hanover Regional Medical Center," said Carl Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health. "We value the impressive legacy New Hanover Regional Medical Center has established as a premier health care provider in southeastern North Carolina, and we are confident this partnership will offer the region a world-class hospital network that will allow patients to receive higher quality care closer to home, expand the availability of care to underserved communities, help keep costs down, and deliver leading-edge care for decades to come."

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