Non-profit health system Piedmont Healthcare has signed a non-binding Letter-of-Intent (LOI) to partner with University Health Care System (UHCS) in Augusta, US.

UHCS runs three hospital campuses, inpatient and outpatient services, nine urgent care facilities, three skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitative care.

It employs more than 90 providers for primary and specialty care. The health care system caters to more than 25 counties in eastern Georgia and South Carolina regions.

Under the LOI, which triggers due diligence between the partners, Piedmont Healthcare committed to investing approximately $1bn over ten years to expand UHCS facilities, operations, information technology and clinical infrastructure.

If the partnership is successful, UHCS will become Piedmont Healthcare’s Hub for clinical services in Augusta. The University health system also intends to use its partner’s expertise to improve care.

University Health Care System president and CEO James Davis said: “By making this decision now, we’re able to enter this process from a position of strength, building upon University’s 203-year legacy and stable leadership that has engineered success through foresight and financial stewardship.

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“Simply, now is the right time to move forward, and we are very much looking forward to pursuing this partnership with Piedmont and fulfilling our mission for years to come.”

Subject to regulatory reviews, the agreement is slated to finalise later this year. The Board of UHCS has approved the LOI.

Piedmont Healthcare president and CEO Kevin Brown said: “We are excited that the Board has approved the LOI and look forward to serving the healthcare needs of the greater Augusta region.

“We have no doubt that together we can add value for our collective communities as we navigate the immense pressure on our industry.”

Earlier this month, Piedmont Healthcare signed an agreement to buy four hospitals from HCA Healthcare for about $950m.