A local hospital is a resource that impacts every corner of a community. So when ownership of a local hospital may change hands, the community is going to be greatly interested.

The Wilmington StarNews recently reached out to Womble Bond Dickinson healthcare attorney Tom Stukes about the potential sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Local officials are debating selling the county-owned hospital, but no decisions have been made at this time.

Stukes, who has structured and negotiated the sale of numerous hospitals and medical centers throughout North Carolina, said New Hanover officials are approaching a potential sale from a position of strength. They can explore all options, but they are under no pressure to accept a bad deal.

“I think it’s a smart, forward-thinking strategy by the folks down there,” Stukes said.

He also said that possible regulatory and reimbursement changes in the healthcare industry has led many hospitals to consider mergers and consolidations “so you have that flexibility to meet the needs and requirements of what might be coming down.”

Stukes also discussed a variety of healthcare systems, many of whom already are operating in eastern North Carolina, who could be interested buyers should New Hanover Regional Medical Center come on the market.

“All are looking to expand their patient base, and scale is important, so I think all of them would be interested,” he said. “And with its growing market and reasonably attractive payer-mix, where it’s not all Medicare or Medicaid, I expect New Hanover Regional to be a very attractive property.”

Click here to read “So Who Might Be Interested in New Hanover Regional?” in the Wilmington StarNews.

Tom Stukes is one of North Carolina’s most experienced healthcare transactions attorneys, having counseled clients in numerous M&A deals, consolidations and restructurings for medical centers and other health care providers. Stukes has helped form some of the largest hospital systems in the state during his nearly 40-year career. He also represents academic medical centers as well as other healthcare providers and provider networks throughout the country.