ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) -- The state attorney general weighs in on the proposed sale of Mission Hospital to HCA Healthcare.
Josh Stein was in Asheville Tuesday, expressing his concern over the move from a non-profit to a for-profit hospital, and how it could affect residents.
Mission is the largest employer in Buncombe County, with 3000 people earning a living there. The hospital's non-profit status means all profits are to be re-invested in new equipment, staff and facilities.
HCA Healthcare is for-profit and obliged to raise funds through investors, and return profits to shareholders.
Attorney General Stein believes the HCA proposal brings risk that he can act on.
"If it creates problems, for the interest of the people and the health of the people, then I can go to court to try and amend it or block it depending on the nature of the deal," he told us. " I don't know what the deal is yet. My concerns are that the people's investments in this hospital be preserved."
Stein said he believes any deal should go beyond Buncombe County, extending to all Mission campuses in the mountains that quality of care and service must be preserved, and that Mission's community involvement needs to be considered: charity care, relationship with UNC hospitals, and Medicaid services.
Stein said he believes HCA needs to step up and honor those same commitments.