Novant Health releases details on doctors breaking away

Novant Health released more details on Monday about the 41 Charlotte doctors who are leaving the metro area’s second-largest health care system.

The doctors work at several Lakeside Family Physicians and Huntersville OB-GYN locations, Novant said. Those doctors are joining Tennessee-based Holston Medical Group.

Some doctors will continue to work out of the same offices after they officially leave Novant on May 31 at 5 p.m.

Novant plans to transfer five Lakeside Family Physicians and four Huntersville OB-GYN facilities to those doctors.

“This will ensure physicians have a place to see patients and practice medicine, thus minimizing any disruption due to the change,” Novant said in a news release.

Novant plans to retain five Lakeside Family Physicians clinics: Antiquity, Jetton, Rosedale, Denver and Mooresville.

Novant and the new providers are committed to a smooth transition and will focus on patient experience and care throughout the change, said Pam Oliver, president of Novant Health Physician Network.

The development at Novant is the latest example of physicians breaking away from a hospital system to operate independently.

Less than a year ago, 92 doctors with Mecklenburg Medical Group sued to get out of non-compete contracts with Charlotte-based Atrium Health and form an independent practice.

Atrium granted the doctors’ request by ending their employment agreements. The doctors who left Atrium formed Tryon Medical Partners.

Experts have said that such splits remain rare and that consolidation within the industry remains overall the trend, with hospitals and even insurers acquiring physician practices.

But experts have said that some doctors have grown frustrated working for hospital systems, where they have less control over their own pay and how they practice medicine.

Novant on Monday called the doctors’ decision unexpected.

Jesse Cureton, chief consumer officer for Novant, said the recent separation marks the first time a physicians group of that size has left the hospital system.

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Holston Medical Group is based in Kingsport, Tenn., and is made up of independent physicians, according to the company.

More than 100 N.C. jobs are posted on Holston’s website, including practice managers, patient navigators and nursing staff.

One of the doctors believed to be leading the effort for the doctors breaking away from Novant has not returned calls from the Observer.

Novant emphasized Monday that its Lakeside Primary Care locations are not affected by the changes.

Cassie Cope covers business in Charlotte, with a focus on Charlotte Douglas airport, Duke Energy, Atrium Health and Novant Health. She previously covered politics at The State in Columbia, S.C., and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.
Deon Roberts has covered Charlotte’s financial services industry for The Charlotte Observer since 2013. His beat includes Bank of America and Wells Fargo. He attended Loyola University in New Orleans and is a native of Lafitte, La.