For Immediate Release:
Thursday, February 10, 2022
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein and Sen. Jim Burgin (R-12) today held a roundtable at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford to discuss the recent wave of health care consolidation in North Carolina and how it affects North Carolinians’ health care costs, quality, and access. Today’s roundtable was the first in a series of planned sessions across the state. Other attendees included Rep. John Sauls, hospital system CEOs, health care providers, and insurers.
“Too often, when one hospital swallows up another, patients end up paying more and getting worse care,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “North Carolinians need better safeguards to review transactions to put the patients’ interest first. I’m grateful for Sen. Burgin’s leadership on health care in the General Assembly and for his partnership on this incredibly important issue.”
“I appreciate the Attorney General’s interest in the subject, and I look forward to meeting with all parties involved to come up with a common sense solution to make health care more available and affordable, while still maintaining high quality of care,” said Sen. Jim Burgin. “We owe it to the citizens of North Carolina to find ways to make something as crucial as health care more accessible for everyone.”
North Carolina has seen a rise in hospital consolidations over the past several years, including HCA/Mission in western North Carolina, Novant/New Hanover in eastern North Carolina, and Atrium/Wake Forest Baptist Health in Charlotte and Winston-Salem. North Carolina law provides limited tools for the Attorney General’s Office to address these kinds of transactions. North Carolinians would benefit from a clear standard of review of these transactions and more authority to scrutinize them to ensure that they serve the public interest.
Other attendees at today’s roundtable included:
- Rep. John Sauls (R-51)
- Barak Richman, Katharine T. Bartlett Professor of Law. Professor of Business Administration, Duke University
- Charles Gregg, CEO, Pinehurst Surgical Clinic
- Gregory Watts, Director of Government Relations, FirstHealth of the Carolinas
- Dennis Wicker, partner, Nelson Mullins
- Chris Evans, Director of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina