There have been a few interesting stories in the news over the last couple of weeks regarding North Carolina’s esteemed hospital systems:
- Advent Health was granted permission by the state to build a new hospital in Buncombe County. Other hospital systems including Novant and HCA also vied for this coveted spot before the state. These business organizations must bow before regulators in order to build and operate new facilities. The state essentially doles out territory to favored entities.
- A merger has been permitted between Atrium Health, which now controls Wake Forest Baptist, and Aurora Health based in Illinois. The new, prodigious entity will be named Advocate Health. This will be enormous in part because Atrium already is a large hospital system based in Charlotte. The faithful Southern Baptists who sacrificed to start up NC Baptist Hospital many years ago in Winston-Salem have now been long forgotten as the hospital is subsumed into a massive multistate corporation.
- Here in Greensboro, Atrium was granted permission to operate an outpatient surgery center on Horsepen Creek Rd. Cone Health objected to the proposal and did not like the idea that Atrium was infringing on its territory. The fact that competition is good for citizens and patients is of little concern to Cone’s leadership.
State Treasurer Dale Folwell has done an excellent job exposing how the state’s hospital systems are acting in a self-interested manner and serving citizens poorly.
The fact that they are kicking and scratching against each other for territory, and merging into behemoths that seek to control the health care marketplace, reveals the marketing images they try to nurture as being fraudulent. They want the general public to believe these are extraordinarily empathetic institutions that care about everyone’s health care; but in fact they are ruthless business organizations.
And during the pandemic, they committed a host of offenses. They were among the agitators screaming for lockdowns. They refused to allow their physicians to offer early treatment to Covid patients or preventive treatment for patients at risk. They forced certain inpatient protocols on doctors for Covid patients that were harmful and/or ineffective to maximize reimbursement from the federal government. They forced unsafe vaccines on their employees. And they pushed the same vaccines on the general public without proper informed consent.
The hospital systems hurt a lot of people in various ways during the pandemic. Watching their cut-throat business moves induces considerable nausea.