North Carolina's attorney general OKs HCA acquisition of Mission Health

HCA's planned acquisition of Asheville, North Carolina-based Mission Health System cleared a major hurdle this week after North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced that he has no objections to the deal.

Stein pointed to HCA's commitments to provide healthcare services and to make its board more representative of the communities it will serve. Both parties also agreed to enforcement measures that will allow the AG's office to take legal action should HCA, which is based in Nashville, fail to comply with its commitments.

“After extensive negotiations, I am satisfied that this new agreement protects healthcare in western North Carolina [and] ensures that the full value of Mission’s assets will continue to be used for public purposes," Stein said in a statement. 

By law, the AG has the right to review deals under which any nonprofit corporation in North Carolina sells the bulk of or all of its assets.

In March, Mission Health announced the planned acquisition by HCA. Mission employs nearly 11,000 people, making it the region’s largest employer. The nonprofit health system also boasts a total economic output of $1.75 billion annually for an 18-county region.

RELATED: Mission Health plans to contribute $90M to foundations if it sells to HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, a for-profit, is an even larger player and reported a profit of $2.2 billion in 2017. The deal will add Mission’s seven hospitals to HCA’s 177 hospitals and 119 surgical centers in the U.S. and United Kingdom.