Health

News and information about health, health care, health care policy from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

Atrium Health

Atrium Health is beefing up security at many of its hospitals and health facilities. Visitors will soon have to check in at reception desks and in some places have to go through metal detectors.

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC headquarters in Durham.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

After years of rising prices for Affordable Care Act health insurance plans, many North Carolinians are in for a nice surprise – a price decrease. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina says the state approved its request to lower rates an average of 4.1 percent across the state. In the Charlotte and Gastonia areas premiums could decrease by as much as 16.5 percent. The amount will vary based on the tax credits people qualify for.

Dr. Dale Owen points to the eight Tryon Medical Partners office locations that will open over the next several months. They are strategically located near where Atrium owned Mecklenburg Medical Group's offices.
Alex Olgin / WFAE

Hospital systems have been on a buying binge the last few years, gobbling up doctors’ practices. By one estimate, nearly a third of medical practices nationwide are now part of a large hospital network.

But one large group of physicians is going in another direction - it’s breaking away from Atrium Health and opening an independent practice next month. 

Pixabay

North Carolina is looking for insurance companies as it privatizes its Medicaid system. The program that covers 2.2 million poor and disabled North Carolinians is undergoing a massive overhaul, but patients won’t see any changes until next year.

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC headquarters in Durham.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

Insurance rates could go down next year for some Affordable Care Act participants in North Carolina.

Atrium Health is opening a primary care practice at the YMCA near uptown Monday. The new practice will serve between 16 and 20 patients a day and adds to the physical therapy and rehab services the health system already offers at two other YMCA locations.

The group of about 90 doctors that sued Atrium Health to leave and form an independent practice have dropped the suit. The physicians are part of Mecklenburg Medical Group, and announced in April they were leaving Atrium and suing the health system to get out of their contracts.

Atrium Health

At least 151 employees of Atrium Health’s previous anesthesiology provider are at risk of being laid off. This comes after a long, bitter public battle between the health system and the doctors' group. 

Mecklenburg County

At least 1,193 doses of a Hepatitis A vaccine were given to people in Mecklenburg County at risk of contracting the virus, after an employee at a fast food restaurant was diagnosed with the liver disease.

Mecklenburg County

An outbreak of Hepatitis A was reported in Mecklenburg County weeks ago, but five new cases have been reported since June 6 — including a Charlotte restaurant employee diagnosed Monday. 

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