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Cornelius News

Upheaval among doctors at Holston Medical

April 8. UPDATE 7:30 am April 9. By Dave Yochum.  Twenty-one physicians who requested to leave HMG to form an independent group have been suddenly furloughed by the Tennessee-based medical group which launched here a year ago. A decline in patient visits due to COVID-19 may be part of the reason.

The situation has left both patients and HMG in disarray.

A group of three dozen physicians had planned to form an independent group, whether a more independent branch of HMG or an entirely independent group, come fall of 2020. Negotiations apparently fell apart in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patients of the 21 physicians who were furloughed received a letter from HMG yesterday stating that their doctors had “resigned,” with no mention of their plans.

More than three dozen physicians left Novant Health last year to join a private practice—Holston Medical Group—which had a “patient-first philosophy.” The doctors who left for Holston included the former head of Lakeside Family Physicians, Dr. David Cook, who has since left Holston.

Holston officials, acknowledging that 35 physicians resigned from HMG, said the doctors were scheduled to transition out of practice with HMG in September of 2020.

COVID-19 affected volume

“That being said, COVID-19 has impacted many healthcare organizations like ours in surprising ways,” HMG said.

With urgent COVID-19 cases being admitted to hospitals and the stay-at-home order limiting check-ups and elective care, there has been a “dramatic reduction in physician office visits—significantly impacting our organization.”

Twenty-one of the three dozen physicians—those with significantly reduced patient visit volumes—were dismissed from patient care responsibility, HMG said.

The HMG statement blaming low patient volume is the subject of some dispute. One of those physicians was out for some period of time for treatment of a serious medical problem.

Patients are expressing concern about where their physicians are, including whether they will be practicing locally in future. Of course, HMG said they are welcome to stay with them.

Huntersville OB/GYN physicians also left Novant to join HMG. Among them were well-known doctors with loyal patient followings.

It’s unclear where the doctors—and patients—will land. Included in the departure from Novant last year were a number of doctors from Huntersville OB/GYN.

Continuity of care is a core value within the ob-gyn specialty, centered on a physician-patient relationship built over a long period of time.

NEW: This message was later posted on the HMG web site

To our North Carolina patients,
The past few months have seen some changes and we want to summarize those here in order to provide some clarity about the impact to you as our patients, and HMG as an organization.

Earlier in the year, 35 physicians resigned from HMG. Honoring scheduled patient visits and contracts, these physicians were scheduled to transition out of practice with us in September of 2020. That being said, COVID-19 has impacted many healthcare organizations like ours in surprising ways. With urgent COVID-19 cases being admitted to hospitals and the “Stay at Home Order” in place limiting check-ups and elective care, we have seen a dramatic reduction in physician office visits – significantly impacting our organization.

With this in mind, 21 of those 35 physicians were dismissed from patient care responsibility.

Though this transition happened earlier than anticipated, rest assured that we are here to support every one of you throughout this uncertain and unprecedented time. If you have questions or concerns, please call 1-877-464-1213 and our team members will provide you with the information you need.

If you have received a notification in the mail regarding your doctor, and you need any of the following, our team has access to your records and is here to help you:

Schedule or reschedule appointment
Address any health concerns
Refill medications
Transition your care to another provider of your choice
If you choose to remain within HMG, you can find a list of all locations and providers here.

Additionally, we will work with any other provider of your choice to transition your care and make your records available.

As always, our primary focus remains making sure your needs are met. We remain open and available for you, and will continue to provide you with factual, up to date information on this page about how and where to receive care as related to COVID-19 and beyond.

Holston Medical Group