90 physicians leaving Atrium share details about the split

A group of about 90 physicians leaving Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health's Mecklenburg Medical Group are planning to begin treating patients at their new independent medical practice later this summer, according to The Charlotte Observer.

The new practice will be named Tryon Medical Partners, and its tag line will be "Strong relationships. Better health."

"Our new name and tag line honors our history of serving the Charlotte region for more than 80 years since our founders opened their first office in Uptown Charlotte," Dale Owen, MD, leader of Tryon Medical Partners, said in a statement to The Charlotte Observer. Dr. Owen, a cardiologist at Mecklenburg Medical Group, is spearheading the effort to split from Atrium.

In April, Atrium said it will grant the physicians' request to end their employment contracts with the health system and be released from noncompete agreements Sept. 1. The physicians sued the health system earlier this year to terminate those agreements. The lawsuit has not yet been dropped, according to the report.

The physicians told The Charlotte Observer they will split from Atrium on Aug. 31 and begin serving patients at their new practice Sept. 4.

Tryon Medical Partners plans to open five to 10 offices and hire up to 300 employees, including medical assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, and front office and support staff, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.

Dr. Owen told The Charlotte Observer leases have been signed, and the group will probably disclose the locations of the new offices in the new few weeks.

It's uncertain how many of Mecklenburg Medical's roughly 100,000 patients will follow the physicians to their new independent practice. "It's the patient's choice. We don't own patients. Atrium doesn't own patients. The patients will be the ones to decide where they seek medical care," Dr. Owen told the Charlotte Business Journal.

More articles on physician integration issues:

Decline in number of African-American male physicians called a crisis
Physician assistants organization considers revamping profession's title
Connecting a nation: How Israel integrates data for 8 million patients

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