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New anesthesiology provider for Atrium Health says physicians won't see job cuts

The founder of Charlotte-based Scope Anesthesia of North Carolina, which will reportedly begin providing anesthesiology services at Charlotte-based Atrium Health in July, said reports regarding physician job cuts at Atrium once SANC's contract begins are untrue, according to WFAE News.

Atrium reportedly ended a nearly 40-year partnership with its former anesthesiology services provider Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants, also in Charlotte, last week. Their contract will expire June 30, after which SANC will take over and begin providing anesthesiology services at Atrium's various facilities.

Tom Wherry, MD, reportedly founded SANC earlier this year, according to The Charlotte Observer. Atrium hired Dr. Wherry in February 2017 to serve as a consultant to study the health system's physician anesthesiologist staffing models, according to the report.

"The plan at Atrium Health centers is not to reduce the number of physicians. The plan and the model is the exact same number of physicians will be there for the start of the day, the exact same number of physicians will be there at night and for emergencies. So the information out there that there will be a reduction of physicians is absolutely untrue," Dr. Wherry said, according to WFAE News.

In a March 21 memo, Atrium officials confirmed the health system's decision to transition services away from Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants, part of Sunrise, Fla.-based Mednax.

"Over the past several weeks, unfortunately, Mednax has communicated misleading and incorrect information about our ongoing plans for anesthesia services at Atrium Health. Based on what we have observed other organizations experience, we anticipate that Mednax will continue and possibly increase similar tactics, directly or indirectly, over the coming days and weeks," according to the memo, obtained by Becker's Hospital Review.

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