CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care announced Thursday morning that they plan to form one of the largest hospital systems in the United States.
Leaders with the companies said the merger would help boost affordability and access for patients while expanding services across the state.
In a press release, the organizations said they will “provide clear solutions for healthcare’s most pressing challenges by focusing on four strategic areas: increasing access and affordability, advancing clinical care expertise, growing their renowned academic enterprise and contributing to the region’s economic vibrancy.”
“Together with UNC Health Care, we believe that the opportunities to be a national model and to elevate health in North Carolina are nearly limitless,” said Gene Woods, current president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System, and future CEO of the new entity. “For example, since our organizations already serve almost 50 percent of all patients who visit rural hospitals in our state, we are perfectly positioned to participate in the reinvention of rural healthcare in partnership with others. Ensuring there is great healthcare in rural counties is not only important to our patients’ physical wellbeing but is also vital to the economic wellbeing of those communities as well.
“At the same time, we are also inspired by what our two organizations will be able to do together to transform cancer treatment. At Levine Cancer Institute, we care for over 10,000 new patients every year, and over 1,000 participate in clinical trials through a ‘care-close-to-home’ model in more than 25 locations throughout the Carolinas. Combined with UNC Health Care’s National Cancer Institute designation, with more than $70 million in joint cancer research grants for clinical trials, we will create a cancer network that is second to none in the country. In short, this partnership is an example of one of those truly ‘big ideas’ that this state is known for.”
“By integrating our organizations, we are combining the strengths of two great health systems, providing greater access to a full range of services and leading-edge treatments for patients, enabling better coordination of care and advancing research,” said Dr. William Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine, CEO of UNC Health Care, and future executive chair of the new organization. “Carolinas HealthCare System is one of the most innovative healthcare organizations in the nation, particularly in combining world-class clinical care with a community care model. By combining our two extremely mission-focused organizations, we will offer an unparalleled array of services, expertise and experiences for our patients and communities – beyond what either of us could do independently.”
Included among its services, the new company will:
- Provide both urban and rural populations with close-to-home options for world-class care.
- Offer nearly 1,400 active clinical trials that can quickly help uncover solutions and deliver treatments.
- Serve as the cornerstone for Medicaid coverage in North Carolina.
- Strengthen collaboration with other healthcare providers to improve patient experience and bring affordable care to the region.
- House seven nationally-ranked adult clinical service lines and nine nationally-ranked pediatric clinical service lines.
- Drive research opportunities that advance discovery and innovation to find new cures and change the way care is delivered.
- Educate the next generation of physician leaders at the nationally ranked UNC School of Medicine, through more than 100 residency programs in its enhanced network of teaching hospitals across the state, and through lifelong learning for providers.
- Train, support and retain the healthcare professionals needed to serve North Carolina and beyond.
Channel 9 is digging deeper into the plan and will break down what it means for North Carolinians on Eyewitness News at 5 p.m.
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