North Carolina system sees exodus of physicians after HCA takeover

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More than a dozen physicians have exited Mission Health since HCA Healthcare took over the Asheville, N.C.-based health system, according to The Transylvania Times

Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, a for-profit hospital operator, completed its acquisition of Mission Health in February 2019. Since then, at least 16 physicians have decided to part ways with Mission Health, according to the report. 

Most of the physicians exiting Mission will continue to practice medicine in their counties through affiliations with other hospitals and health systems. 

When asked to confirm the number of physicians leaving Mission, HCA declined to comment to Becker's

The Transylvania Times reports that Mission also recently decided not to renew the contract of a long-time orthopedic surgeon after his contract with the system ends March 31, and a urologist in Transylvania County will not be renewing his contract with the system. 

Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, N.C., part of Mission, saw a "good majority" of its physicians leave after recent contractual negotiations, one of the hospital's executives said in January, according to the report. 

"As with any organization, employee contracts are confidential. Through our contracts with our employed physicians, Mission Health seeks to support our focus on patient care while compensating our physicians at fair market value," Mission Health said in a statement to Becker's. "While most Mission Health physicians were offered new employment contracts, some have chosen to pursue other options. We are actively recruiting to fill any vacancies that we anticipate. For instance, just this week we signed contracts with three new providers. All of our primary care locations continue to be available to the community for their care needs."

Financial compensation reportedly isn't the reason physicians are leaving the system. One physician told The Transylvania Times that expectations of HCA and physicians have diverged. However, he said the company has supported physicians who have decided to leave the system and facilitated record transfer requests in the interest of patients. 

When asked why physicians have decided to leave the system, HCA declined to comment to Becker's.

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