Discussions with UNC Health Care to form a new “partnership” are ongoing while the potential partner has made headlines over the last two days.
UNC Health Care and Carolinas Healthcare System announced plans last summer to form a new partnership. Officials from both systems have been consistent saying this is a new venture rather than a merger.
Carolinas Healthcare made news on Wednesday by announcing it was changing its name to Atrium Health. The system followed up the name change by announcing on Thursday it was combining with a Georgia-based health care system – Navicent Health, according to the Charlotte Observer.
This move is continuing what Atrium Health officials have declared as their mission to grow into a regional health care provider.
Atrium Health, based in Charlotte, has traditionally served the Queen City and points to the south. UNC Health Care, meanwhile, has focused on health care service in the Triangle.
A UNC Health Care spokesperson provided a statement to WCHL on Thursday following Atrium’s announcement saying:
“Atrium Health had informed us of its announcement of an agreement with Navicent Health. We understand they have been in discussions for some time. We believe this combination is further evidence of the consolidation that is occurring in health care around the country.
“Discussions about UNC Health Care’s proposed partnership with Atrium Health are ongoing.”
The negotiations to form the new venture between UNC Health Care and the system now known as Atrium have taken place almost entirely behind closed doors.
The UNC System Board of Governors have formed a committee to review any potential deal but have seen few details. The board as a whole held a discussion on health care and the potential impacts this new partnership could have on North Carolinians during a closed session of a recent Board of Governors meeting.
A UNC System spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This story will be updated with additional information.