Announcements Point to Shifting Landscape of North Carolina Healthcare

Three announcements last week demonstrate how healthcare continues to realign across the state. First, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced a new agreement with five of the state’s health systems designed to help rein in costs. Blue Premier is a value-based model of care where Blue Cross NC and the health systems will be jointly responsible for health outcomes, patient experience and financial risk with the goal of lowering cost and improving outcomes. The systems involved include WakeMed, UNC Healthcare, Duke University Health Systems and Cone Health. Blue Cross NC is also talking about the program with other health systems. For a copy of the announcement from Blue Cross NC, click here.

Next, HCA Healthcare, the largest hospital operator in the US, was given the green light by state regulators to acquire Mission Health & Hospitals. NC Attorney General Josh Stein decided not to oppose the transaction, but will require HCA to commit to additional terms, including a promise to provide services at Mission’s local hospitals for at least 10-years. The Federal Trade Commission still must approve the deal, which Mission expects will close on Jan. 31st. Mission currently has a 49.5% market share across its 11-county region.

Finally, Vidant Health ended its effort to merge with ECU Physicians in eastern North Carolina, the university-owned practice of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. According to reporting from the Greenville Daily Reflector, the two entities failed to reach several contractual milestones of the merger, including clearing key hurdles like pensions of ECU employees, the tax status of existing government bonds and others. ECU and Vidant do intend to continue to work together in other ways