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Atrium Health Merges With Georgia-Based Hospital System

Atrium Health
Atrium Health
Atrium Health's flagship hospital, Carolina Medical Center, is seen in Charlotte in an undated photo.

Charlotte-based Atrium Health is growing even larger. The hospital system announced on Wednesday that it’s merging with a Georgia-based health system called Floyd.

Floyd runs three hospitals in northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama and also operates eight urgent care centers and roughly 20 primary care offices. The system is based in the Georgia city of Rome, about 70 miles from Atlanta.

Under the merger, according to a news release, Floyd will become part of Atrium. The release did not disclose how much the deal is worth. Atrium said that it plans to invest $650 million in Floyd over the next decade to improve its facilities and technology.

"This is a historical milestone in the history of both of our organizations" said Eugene A. Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health. “We look forward to making significant investments in the health of the communities served by Floyd through working with the dedicated leadership team and talented medical community to implement the latest technological advancements, achieve the best clinical outcomes and expand the breath of services we provide.”

The Floyd deal is Atrium’s third merger in recent years. Last year, the hospital system combined with Wake Forest Baptist Health, including Wake Forest School of Medicine, a deal that paved the way for a new four-year medical school in Charlotte. In 2018, Atrium merged with Macon, Georgia-based Navicent Health. Atrium now owns 40 hospitals and around 1,400 health care facilities across the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama.

The systems say it will "improve access to high-quality health care."

But these mergers are usually bad for patients and lead to higher health care costs, according to a recent brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which said that “a wide body of research has shown that provider consolidation leads to higher healthcare prices for private insurance.”

A New York Times analysis of 25 metro areas with the highest rates of hospital consolidation from 2010 to 2013 found that the price private insurance paid for the average hospital stay in most places increased between 11% and 54% in subsequent years.

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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.