CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Channel 9 has learned that some doctors with Atrium Health, including local pediatricians, are leaving because of new compensation contracts the company has rolled out.
The health system, previously known as Carolinas HealthCare System, has required in recent years that its approximately 2,000 doctors sign new contracts that align with national compensation benchmarks.
Sources told Channel 9 at least some doctors have effectively been asked to take a pay cut and are instead leaving Atrium Health.
“This is a not a ‘one size fits all approach’ and the new plans provide flexibility depending on the specialty,” an Atrium Health spokesperson said in a statement.
Executives also said in the statement their overall investment in doctors is increasing and that, “Only a small percentage of physicians have chosen to not sign their new employment agreements with Atrium Health.”
For some parents, this potentially means finding new doctors for their children and, in some cases, themselves because of network insurance requirements.
Channel 9 learned several doctors recently moved to Novant Health to practice medicine.
“As a policy, Novant Health does not comment on stories related to other health systems,” a spokesperson for Novant said in an email.
Atrium Health Statement:
"Our primary objective at Atrium Health is to provide the highest level of care to our patients and communities we serve. We are privileged to have one of the finest groups of physicians in the nation.
"Their work is vital to the health our communities, and we are committed to ensuring they are fully supported. We continually review our physician’s compensation against nationally benchmarked peers to ensure it is equitable, competitive and aligned with Atrium Health’s goals.
"As we have grown, we have partnered and joined with many physician practices across the region, which has resulted in dozens of different compensation models.
"To ensure our compensation structure for physicians is equitable and aligned with national benchmarks, we have been in the process of restructuring our compensation models since 2014. Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive compensation plan for all of our physician.
"This is a not a ‘one size fits all approach’ and the new plans provide flexibility depending on the specialty. As a result of this work, Atrium Health is increasing its investment in our physicians, and is ultimately resulting in better alignment to quality of care.
"Only a small percentage of physicians have chosen to not sign their new employment agreements with Atrium Health."
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