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Rex Healthcare Agrees To Merge With UNC Health Care

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RALEIGH — Health care in the Triangle is changing. In the latest in a string of mergers,UNC Health Carewill merge withRex Healthcare.

Rex Healthcare says the combination with UNC Health Care is just the right medicine.

"I truly believe that UNC and Rex have both become stronger today which will result in more efficient and cost-effective patient care," says Jeffrey Haupt, CEO of UNC Health Care.

With Duke University Health System taking over Raleigh Community Hospital and a largerWakeMedacross town, Rex began to feel outsized and outnumbered. This combination with the state's largest public hospital changes all that. In addition, a $100 million foundation will be set up with proceeds of the sale.

"It allows us to expand, offer more services and offer more competition to the other two hospitals," says James Hyler, Rex Trustees Chairman. "We see this as enhancing competition within Wake County."

However, the deal still reduces the number of overall players in the Triangle health care business, and that raises concerns with some consumer advocates when it comes to prices.

"There could be a potential downside," says consumer advocate Adam Searing. "There will still be competition, but there won't be as many players."

To be more competitive, Rex and UNC plan to make cost changes by reducing duplicate services.

Both hospitals say they hope the only way there will be reductions in the workforce will be through attrition.


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