41 Novant doctors taking flight for new venture
Forty-one physicians at Novant Health are leaving the $4.6 billion health care system to start their own independent practice, following a similar, highly publicized move last year at Atrium Health.
Novant, which gets most of its revenue in the Charlotte and Triad metro areas, is “revising our business relationship,” with the 41 physicians, system spokeswoman Kati Everett said in an e-mail. “Conversations are still taking place about the revised relationship and no further details are available at this time.”
Among the physicians leading the change is David Cook, according to people familiar with the matter. He is part of Lakeside Family Physicians, which expanded under Novant’s ownership from one site in 1993 to about 15 now. A family-medicine physician, Cook formerly was senior vice president of business strategy and innovation at Novant’s corporate office. He didn’t return a call seeking comment.
Almost every physician at Atrium’s Mecklenburg Medical Group departed last year to form Tryon Medical Partners, which now employs 88 doctors and 300 staff members. The partnership has registered about 119,000 appointments, exceeding its expectations, says Dale Owen, a cardiologist who is Tryon Medical’s CEO. Meanwhile Atrium is hiring new physicians to rebuild its ranks.
Many N.C. health care systems acquired physician practices over the last decade, hoping closer collaboration would improve care, boost revenue and rein in cost increases. Atrium employs 1,633 physicians, while Novant has 846, the Charlotte Business Journal reported in April.
But some physicians chafe at policies that they contend inhibit patient contact while increasing administrative costs.