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Bringing the best together. Atrium Health and Navicent Health.

When the brightest minds in medicine come together, our communities get the best care.

Atrium Health and Georgia-based Navicent Health are joining to bring our region more of the exceptional care that helps everyone live their best.

Why we’re coming together – and what it means for you

With similar missions and complementary capabilities, we’re confident that coming together will help us bring better care to everyone we serve throughout the Southeast, from the Carolinas to Georgia.

Across our footprint, our combination will bring:

  • Access to world-class care – from the top experts to the most advanced treatments in heart, cancer and children’s care.
  • The latest and most innovative care options – like real-time virtual care for everything from everyday illnesses to critical care to mental health needs.
  • Care focused on the whole community – through programs that help prevent disease, address social factors impacting health (like access to safe housing or fresh food), and boost health outside our walls.

Questions and answers

What can you tell me about Atrium Health?

Atrium Health, formerly Carolinas HealthCare System, is one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, it includes 46 hospitals in North and South Carolina and more than 65,000 employees, including 3,000 physicians.

Atrium Health has a Level I trauma center at Carolinas Medical Center and provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout the Southeast region. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Atrium Health works to enhance the overall health and well-being of its communities through high-quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.

What can you tell me about Navicent Health?

Navicent Health, the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and well-being through compassionate care. Licensed for 970 beds and offering care in 53 specialties at 30 facilities throughout the region, Navicent Health provides care for healthcare consumers through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Navicent Health is dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit NavicentHealth.org.

How will Atrium Health help Navicent Health better serve the residents of central and south Georgia?

Atrium Health has a demonstrated commitment to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all. Both Navicent Health and Atrium Health have demonstrated strong commitments to improve health, minimize disparities in healthcare and keep care local. Navicent Health believes this combination will better serve their communities because Atrium Health has demonstrated an ability to:

  • Help vulnerable and rural communities integrate behavioral health into primary care;
  • Expand hospital services for the benefit of communities;
  • Reduce emergency department wait times; and
  • Provide a high level of easy-to-access care through virtual consultations.

Our strategic combination is intended to keep the Navicent Health physician community strong and provide added resources. In turn, this will enable central and south Georgia patients to access complex medical services locally through their connection to Atrium Health’s vast array of award-winning healthcare technologies and innovative ways of bringing care.

Do I need to switch doctors?

No. There is nothing in this combination that requires a change.

Will this impact my care?

You will likely not notice changes immediately. Over time, you may notice changes that make your care better. One of the goals of this combination is to bring even better care, more virtual technologies and a better experience for our patients.

What will happen to the teammates of both systems as a result of this combination?

For the foreseeable future, it is expected that both Atrium Health and Navicent Health’s staff will continue in their roles and, over time, could have additional resources to perform their jobs.

Atrium Health will provide additional resources that will help Navicent Health deliver even better care for patients, and increased support for physicians and medical professionals. This is Atrium Health’s first entry into Georgia. It is to their benefit to help expand Navicent Health’s capabilities and resources, not shrink them.

Will Navicent Health retain local control?

Yes. Navicent Health will continue to have a local board with a strong voice to guide local decisions. Members from Atrium Health will join the Navicent Health board and members of Navicent Health will be nominated to serve on Atrium Health’s board.

Who will be making day-to-day decisions at Navicent Health?

Navicent Health’s executive team and board of directors will continue to oversee the organization, with the strategic counsel, support and expertise that Atrium Health provides as part of this agreement. The two organizations will work very closely together, and Navicent Health also will bring talent and expertise to the Atrium Health enterprise.

Will Navicent Health retain its current management team? Will Ninfa Saunders remain CEO of Navicent Health?

Yes, as part of the agreement, all Navicent Health senior management in good standing will be maintained for the foreseeable future. Ninfa Saunders will remain president and CEO.

Will Navicent Health keep its same board of directors, or will it be rolled up under Atrium Health’s board of commissioners?

Navicent Health will continue to have a local board with a strong voice to guide local decisions. Members from Atrium Health will join the Navicent Health board and members of Navicent Health will be nominated to serve on Atrium Health’s board.

What about the Navicent Health Foundation? Will funds raised by the Foundation now go to Charlotte?

The Navicent Health Foundation is not part of the strategic combination with Atrium Health. Financial support driven by the local Macon and surrounding communities will continue to serve residents of those local communities. Navicent Health will continue to support local community health initiatives in 2019 and beyond.

Is Atrium Health buying Navicent Health?

No. Atrium Health and Navicent Health are forming their strategic combination through a legal structure called a member substitution. This type of transaction is used by healthcare systems to combine organizations. In this transaction, Atrium Health will become the sole “member” of Navicent Health.

How much is Atrium Health investing in Navicent Health?

Atrium Health and Navicent Health will provide a total capital investment to support and expand the future operations of Navicent Health in central and south Georgia. Atrium Health is making a $425 million cash investment, including $250 million for strategic expenditures and $175 million for discretionary expenditures. Navicent Health will utilize $400 million for routine and strategic expenditures and have the authority to invest up to $175 million for discretionary expenditures to continue to provide a high standard of healthcare in the region.

Will this combination lower healthcare costs for patients?

One of the goals of this strategic combination is to address affordability of healthcare together. This combination enables us to serve our local communities in the broader Southeast region with an even higher quality of healthcare by providing greater access to more innovative medical practices and technologies. It’s also in line with both organizations’ missions to ensure the patients and the communities we serve continue to have access to affordable and high-quality care.

How will this deal affect insurance agreements? Will local residents who currently have access to care and doctors at Navicent Health through their insurance network continue to have access?

All current agreements will remain in place. Local residents who currently have access to care and doctors at Navicent Health through their insurance networks will continue to have that access.

Will my bill change?

No. You should continue to pay as you normally do.

Will Atrium Health require Navicent Health to work with their vendors, potentially taking away business from local Georgia companies?

Navicent Health will continue to be a strong economic driver in Macon and surrounding communities and will continue to work closely with local and regional vendors. Supporting local and regional vendors will be a key consideration when decisions are made in the future about specific products and services. Also, because of the geographical distance between Navicent Health and Atrium Health, local vendors will continue to play a key role for the system.

Is this an acquisition, merger, alliance, or partnership? What exactly is happening here?

The legal term for what is happening is a member substitution.

A member substitution is a legal structure that is commonly used by not-for-profit hospital systems like Navicent Health and Atrium Health to form a strategic combination.

Under the agreement, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atrium Health will become the sole member of Navicent Health. Navicent Health will continue in existence as a Georgia nonprofit corporation. This will make the Atrium Health subsidiary the sole “member” of Navicent Health.

One of the many benefits of this type of transaction is increased access to clinical resources and usually, as in this case, an investment by the larger healthcare system to enhance the delivery of care by the other institution.

Did anyone in government review this combination?

Yes. As required by Georgia law that governs nonprofit hospital transactions, the Georgia Attorney General’s office reviewed the proposed transaction.

Are the assets of the Macon-Bibb County Hospital Authority being sold?

No. Most of the property and buildings used by Navicent Health are owned by the Macon-Bibb Hospital Authority and are not being sold. Navicent Health’s facilities in Macon-Bibb County are leased from the Macon-Bibb County Hospital Authority under a long-term lease that will remain in effect.

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