Why are physicians leaving this North Carolina hospital? City seeks attorney general probe

Brevard, N.C., leaders are urging the state's attorney general to investigate why a flood of physicians have left rural Transylvania Regional Hospital, according to WLOS.

The Brevard leaders said they are worried about the future of the hospital after 14 physicians recently left the hospital, which is part of Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health. There have been a number of physician exits from the Mission Health system since it was taken over by Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare in 2019. 

In a letter to the attorney general, city leaders said that "it appears that the main reason the providers are leaving is because HCA Healthcare changed the method of compensation in the hiring contract."

A physician confirmed to the publication that the new contracts being offered to physicians at Transylvania Regional Hospital pay 10 percent to 25 percent less.

"Mission Health is committed to the Transylvania County community and the people we serve there. We are actively recruiting to fill any vacancies that we anticipate, and recently signed contracts with several new providers," Mission Health told WLOS. "HCA Healthcare continues to expand their support of physicians across all of Western North Carolina and while the employment relationship with some has changed, these physicians are still part of our medical staff and hospital team."

In mid-April independent monitoring firm Gibbins Advisors said it will examine the physician departures from Mission Health. Gibbins Advisors was appointed independent monitor of Mission Health as part of the transaction agreement with HCA. HCA agreed to certain commitments as part of the deal and the independent monitor determines if HCA is adhering to those commitments.

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