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UNC Health Care: BCBS of North Carolina drew 'premature and unfounded conclusions' about proposed Carolinas merger

Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Health Care officials fired back at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, stating the state's largest insurer drew "premature and unfounded conclusions about [the] proposed partnership" with Charlotte, N.C.-based Carolinas HealthCare System.

BCBS North Carolina President and CEO Patrick Conway, MD, sent a letter Wednesday to executives at both health systems. The letter stated that after conducting "a thorough review of independent research ... Blue Cross NC cannot support [the] proposed combination."

UNC Health Care officials issued a statement Jan. 24 in response to Dr. Conway's letter. The statement, obtained by Becker's Hospital Review, reads: "We believe that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has drawn premature and unfounded conclusions about our proposed partnership with Carolinas HealthCare System. An agreement for this partnership is still being negotiated and the new organization does not yet exist.

"Simply put, we are pursuing this partnership to improve the health of our fellow citizens. This partnership will position UNC Health Care even better to reduce costs, improve patient outcomes and increase access to high quality care — especially in rural North Carolina. UNC Health Care welcomes further dialogue with other interested partners, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in our ongoing efforts to improve the health and well- being of our fellow North Carolinians.

"UNC Health Care has a long and proud history of serving the citizens of North Carolina. We continue to explore innovative solutions to provide our patients with the highest quality care at the lowest cost."

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