SEANC Urges State To Block HCA Expansion in NC

Members of the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) spoke out at a public hearing organized by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS). The hearing allowed Mission Health, Novant Health and Advent Health to make the case for their expansion proposals under the state’s Certificate of Need process. 

 

During the hearing, SEANC members opposed HCA’s request to add 67 new acute care beds at its Mission Health facility in Asheville. The association filed a formal comment on August 1 urging the state to reject HCA’s proposal. 

 

“We have serious concerns that HCA’s profit-driven approach to care extends to its staffing decisions and that the Applicant will not have the necessary staffing resources to accommodate its proposed bed expansion,” the complaint states. 


SEANC members’ participation in the public hearing comes as Buncombe County and the city of Asheville recently filed a joint class-action lawsuit against HCA Healthcare, alleging the company of engaging in anti-competitive practices—it’s the third antitrust lawsuit to be filed since HCA’s $1.5 billion purchase of Mission Health in 2019, a process the NC Attorney General has called “rigged from the start.”

“As a regional representative, I have heard and shared concerns brought to me by state employees in the area. The most common concerns are with the high cost of care and predatory billing practices at Mission HCA, including medical bills being turned over to collection agencies almost immediately."

- Cliff Johnson, SEANC member and lifelong western North Carolina resident

Residents of western North Carolina are calling on the state to halt HCA’s expanding footprint in Asheville that may already be harming standards for quality, affordable patient care.