41 physicians to split with Novant Health in May

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health revealed Jan. 28 that the 41 physicians who plan to leave the system will do so on May 31 at 5 p.m., The Charlotte Observer reports.

The health system told The Charlotte Observer those physicians work at several of Novant Health's physician practices in Huntersville, N.C. The physicians are joining Holston Medical Group in Kingsport, Tenn. Not all the physicians associated with the medical practices in Huntersville will be leaving, WFAE 90.7 reports.

Novant Health Chief Consumer Officer Jesse Cureton said in a statement that the physicians' decision to split was unexpected and marks the first time a physician group of that size has sought to leave Novant.

"This departure is somewhat unique for Novant Health. We haven't had anything quite like this before. Every year there are physicians that leave. And we continue to grow every year. So we are adding physicians. And so we don't anticipate that this is a reflection of anything that will continue within Novant Health," Mr. Cureton said.

"These are physicians that have been with our organization for a number of years. We know them. We like them. We care for them. As much as we are disappointed and we were not expecting this movement, we are going to support the migration of the physicians and continue to support the best healthcare we can provide in the marketplace," he added.

WFAE 90.7 reports Novant Health employs more than 900 physicians in the Charlotte, N.C., area and more than 1,500 physicians across the whole system.

Mr. Cureton said patients will be notified of the physicians' departure through letters, emails and social media.

The Novant Health physicians' decision to break away is the most recent example of providers looking to part from a health system to operate independently. Last year, 92 physicians with Mecklenburg Medical Group sued to break their contracts with Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health.

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