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Novant And Atrium Continue Battle For Mecklenburg Hospital Beds


Charlotte’s two largest hospital systems are battling over who can add more patient beds. Atrium and Novant argued their cases Monday in a state health department hearing. 

The state has approved76 more patient beds for Mecklenburg County, and Atrium Health says its facilities should be awarded all of them. The system has asked to build a new hospital with 30 beds and two operating rooms in the Lake Norman area.

"These projects are necessary to begin alleviating capacity constraints at Atrium Health's hospitals in Mecklenburg County and expand access to patients in Lake Norman," said Bill Leonard, president of Atrium Health University City, at the hearing. 

Atrium has also proposed to add beds and two operating rooms at each of its locations in University City, Dilworth and Pineville. But Novant Health has asked to add 20 beds and one operating room at its Matthews Medical Center.

"With our current surgical suite of six operating rooms, we are at capacity and need this new operating room to accommodate our growing inpatient surgical volumes and more complex surgical cases," said Dr. Craig Kolasch, chief of surgery at Matthews Medical Center. 

In one of its applications, Atrium argued Novant is not using its existing facilities. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is expected to make a decision by March 29.

Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.