US-based HCA Healthcare has completed the acquisition of Mission Health, a six-hospital system in Asheville and western North Carolina, for around $1.5bn.

HCA has 185 hospitals and around 1,800 sites of care in 21 US states and the UK.

HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen said: “The team at Mission Health has been nationally recognized for providing high-quality patient care, and we’re excited that they’ve joined HCA Healthcare.

“We’re looking forward to investing in western North Carolina and helping ensure Mission Health’s 133-year tradition of caring for communities throughout the region continues for many years.”

Following the acquisition, Mission Health has now become an operating division of HCA Healthcare.

The two healthcare companies entered into exclusive discussions in March 2018 and signed a definitive agreement in August 2018.

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The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office gave its approval to the deal on 16 January 2019.

Mission Health president and CEO Ronald  Paulus said: “We are very pleased that this transaction has now closed so that Mission Health can continue to focus on caring for the people of western North Carolina.

“This is a tremendous win for the people and communities that we serve, and one that may be judged by history as a positive inflection point for the communities we serve. We’ve not only provided for the long-term sustainability of high-quality healthcare and secured special protections for our rural communities, we’ve also created the largest per capita foundation in the nation to address the social determinants of health.”

HCA Healthcare plans to construct a 120-bed inpatient behavioural health hospital in Asheville; build a new replacement hospital for Angel Medical Center in Franklin, North Carolina; and complete Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine in Asheville.

Furthermore, HCA Healthcare plans to invest $232m in Mission Health facilities.