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Proposed GOP budget restores Vidant funding, reverts board back to original makeup

(WITN)
Published: Jun. 25, 2019 at 3:23 PM EDT
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A legislative leader says the rift between Vidant Medical Center and the UNC System over who controls the hospital board has been resolved in a state budget proposal.

House Speaker Tim Moore said in an afternoon news conference today that funding to Vidant has also been restored in the proposal.

Both Senate and House leaders spoke about a proposed compromise state budget as the July 1st deadline approaches.

The university system and East Carolina University sued Pitt County and Vidant after county commissioners in April took away board members appointed to the Vidant board by the university system.

In turn, the Senate removed $35 million in extra Medicaid reimbursements to the hospital.

"The funding was fully restored to Vidant," said Moore. "We also have fully approved the construction of the Brody School of Medicine in the skiff with significant funds to go in this year and we've agreed that the governing board situation is going to go back to the status quo before--55-45, so there's been a reset before all that."

Both Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger said their goal is to vote on the budget compromise later this week and then send it to Gov. Roy Cooper.

Cooper has threatened to veto the budget if it does not expand Medicaid.

In a statement, Vidant said it was "heartened" to see their cuts removed from the proposed budget, but on the hospital board issue, the hospital system said "we will continue to work through the mediation process to ensure we have sustainable health care and medical education for the region.”


Vidant statement

“We are heartened to see the cuts to eastern North Carolina have been removed from the proposed budget and funding for a replacement building for the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University will likely be included. For many years, Vidant has advocated for funding to construct a new building for Brody. We know this is important for our partner, ECU, and will benefit all those we collectively serve throughout the East. It is being reported this funding for a new building comes with a contingency and though we appreciate legislators taking steps to do what is right for the people we are all proud to serve, we will continue to work through the mediation process to ensure we have sustainable health care and medical education for the region.”

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