Select groups of physicians are saying goodbye to their hospital employers, choosing instead to work for independent organizations, and leaving some experts questioning whether more will follow.
Over a six-month span, two factions of North Carolina-based doctors left their respective health systems to form or join independent physician groups.
About 90 Atrium Health doctors then employed by Atrium sued the system in April 2018 for having allegedly cut their pay and including “draconian” noncompete conditions in a new contract, ultimately spawning Tryon Medical Partners in September.
In March, 42 family doctors, obstetricians and gynecologists who were employed by Novant Health left to join Holston Medical Group, an independent practice.
Proponents of the moves say that the presence of physician groups not owned by hospitals creates a countervailing force to the power of a health system and improves care. And the stakes are growing ever larger as outpatient care takes on a greater share of revenue in the industry.