10 Things to Know About Carolinas HealthCare System

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Carolinas HealthCare System, based in Charlotte, N.C., is the largest vertically integrated healthcare system in North and South Carolina.

Here are 10 things to know about Carolinas Health Care System.

  1. Carolinas HealthCare System is comprised of more than 900 care locations, including academic medical centers, hospitals, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies and more. In total, the system has 7,460 licensed beds and 60,000 full- and part-time employees. It is the seventh largest nonprofit system in the country based on number of acute-care hospitals (35). Additionally, Carolinas HealthCare System owns 24 urgent care clinics — only three health systems in the country own more.
  2. Carolinas HealthCare System can trace its roots back to 1876, when women from a local church came together to open the state's first civilian hospital. During World War II, the federal government recognized the expertise of specialists at the third iteration of the hospital, Charlotte Memorial, and invited the hospital to organize the country's first oversees wartime unit not associated with a medical school.
  3. Since 2002, Carolinas HealthCare System has been led by CEO Michael C. Tarwater. He is one of the highest-paid nonprofit health system CEOs in the country — in 2013, he earned about $4.9 million in total compensation. Nine other Carolinas HealthCare System executives earned in excess of $1 million last year as well.
  4. The system's annual budget is more than $7.7 billion. As of Sept. 30, 2013, the system's operating income was $60.5 million, down from $102.9 million the previous year. According to Mr. Tarwater, the public system is facing financial stressors from both North and South Carolina state governments' refusal to expand Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as well as the delay of the Act's employer mandate, both of which mean the level of uninsured patients the system cares for will not decrease.
  5. Carolinas HealthCare System is expanding its presence nationally through management agreements with other hospitals nationwide. Organizations with management contracts with Carolinas Health Care System include Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Health and Cleveland County HealthCare System.
  6. Through the work of its Dickson Advanced Analytics department, Carolinas HealthCare System is able to harness the power of big data to improve patient care. The department analyzes clinical data to provide actionable insights on both a patient and population level and create predictive models to help the health system anticipate population health trends. The system is one of the first in the country without a provider-sponsored health plan to combine clinical and claims data to improve health.
  7. The health system's focus on using data to improve care can be seen in the expansion of its executive team — Carolinas HealthCare System hired its first CMIO, Brent Lambert, MD, in 2010 and its first CNIO, Nancy Olson, RN, in 2014.
  8. The Transplant Center at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte is one of the busiest in the state, averaging more than 100 referrals each month. The center is also one of only a handful in the country with its own hospital-based organ procurement program, which can reduce waiting times for patients.
  9. In 2010, Charlotte Medical Center was designated the official Charlotte, N.C., campus for the Chapel Hill-based University of North Carolina School of Medicine. The medical center currently works with third- and fourth-year medical students, and has plans to increase the number of medical students in its program in an effort to alleviate the local physician shortage.  
  10. To become a leader in cancer care, Carolinas HealthCare System began the Levine Cancer Institute in 2010, a 13-location network throughout the health system designed to improve and standardize care as well as improve patient access to specialists, support services and clinical trials.

More Articles on Carolinas HealthCare System:

100 Great Hospitals in America | 2014
Top 10 Hospital-Owned Urgent Care Operators
Columbus Regional Health to Cut Jobs

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