North Carolina Justice Department 'extremely concerned' about quality of care at Wilson Medical Center

North Carolina's Justice Department is calling on Brentwood, Tenn.-based Duke LifePoint Health, which owns Wilson (N.C.) Medical Center, to respond to rising allegations about a lack of quality patient care, The News and Observer reported Aug. 24. 

Llogan Walters, North Carolina's assistant attorney general, sent a letter to Duke LifePoint Health expressing these concerns Aug. 23. 

"Since 2014, Wilson Medical Center has reportedly reduced its capacity to care for patients by decreasing the number of available beds for inpatient care," Mr. Walters said in the letter obtained by The News & Observer. "Given the health care needs of the local community, a potential decrease in the care Wilson Medical Center provides is especially concerning."

The letter alleges that the hospital is severely understaffed and denying care to patients who can't pay for treatment. It also states the hospital is releasing uninsured patients at a faster rate than insured patients. 

Federal regulators are conducting an ongoing investigation of these claims at the hospital. 

"LifePoint Health is proud of our Duke LifePoint Healthcare partnership with Wilson Medical Center and all that we have been able to achieve together with the hospital’s team over the last eight years," Emily Serck, vice president of communications at LifePoint Health, said in a statement shared with Becker's. "We are confident that all the conditions of the transaction are being fulfilled, and we look forward to sharing requested information and documentation with the Office of the Attorney General."

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