Atrium Health reportedly asks Mecklenburg Medical Group not to split

A Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health leader sent an email to staff April 11 asking a group of 92 physicians to reconsider their decision to break away from the health system, according to The Charlotte Observer.

In the internal email, obtained by The Charlotte Observer, Scott Rissmiller, MD, deputy chief physician executive at Atrium Health, appealed to the Mecklenburg Medical Group physicians seeking to split, stating, "Your colleagues want to have a conversation with you — to listen to you, to discuss the future of primary care in this community and to share with you the hope that you will continue your practice within Atrium Health Medical Group. With physician leadership we've made substantial progress, together, over the past year care to best serve the patient — and we want you to continue to be a part of that progress."

The group of Mecklenburg Medical Group physicians filed a lawsuit April 2 against Atrium, accusing the health system of engaging in monopolistic and anti-competitive behavior, and seeking permission to break their noncompete agreements to practice independently. The same day, Atrium issued a public statement condoning the separation.

In a statement to The Charlotte Observer April 11, Atrium said Dr. Rissmiller's email was meant to reassure the physicians they were able to discuss the situation with their colleagues.

"We hope these physicians will reconsider leaving and continue to care for our patients and communities along with the 1,900 other physicians at Atrium Health," Atrium said.

However, the physicians looking to break off and operate under the brand Mecklenburg Multispecialty Group have expressed concern over the pace of negotiations, despite Atrium's public acceptance of their decision.

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