UNC Health Care

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Officials with UNC Health Care on Monday announced several initiatives they say will restore confidence in its pediatric heart surgery program, including pausing the most complex cases until an advisory board of external medical experts reviews the program and makes recommendations.

Meredith Pounds with her colleague Lamin Sanneh on the fourth floor of UNC Rex Hospital
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The ripping sound of Velcro snapped through a patient room as Meredith Pounds prepped to wrap a blood pressure meter around someone's arm. Bearings squeeked as she wheeled over a Pulse Oximeter and snapped it on a finger.

Pounds works as a nursing assistant on the fourth floor of UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh. As part of her duties, she checks patient vital signs.

An air ambulance lands on the helipad at UNC Hospitals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dan Sears / UNC

UNC Health Care reached a management agreement with Onslow Memorial Hospital, making the coastal North Carolina health center the 11th UNC affiliated hospital.

Ariel view of the UNC Rex Healthcare campus in west Raleigh
UNC Rex Healthcare

UNC Rex Healthcare announced a plan to build a $65 million cancer center at its west Raleigh campus. The new center will ratchet up competition with Duke Raleigh Hospital – which already has two cancer centers, including one in the shadow of Rex's campus – and sets up the UNC Health Care system hospital to pad its bid for a new piece of expensive medical equipment in 2019.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

Dr. Bill Roper, CEO of the UNC Health Care, will replace outgoing UNC System President Margaret Spellings on an interim basis starting in the new year. The UNC Board of Governors voted unanimously to appoint him to the position Thursday.

A picture of a patient and a doctor meeting over a web connection.
Cisco Systems

Dealing with a sick child or a minor ailment can be especially tough while waiting out a storm. UNC Healthcare has a solution for anyone in North Carolina who needs to consult a doctor for minor issues as Hurricane Florence hits the state.

Dr. William Roper will step down from his positions as CEO of UNC Health Care and dean of UNC School of Medicine in 2019.
UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care CEO Dr. William Roper announced he will step down.

Roper, who also serves as the dean of the UNC School of Medicine, plans to stay on for another year. He will leave in May of 2019, according to UNC officials.

UNC Health Care CEO Dr. Bill Roper, left, and Atrium Health CEO Gene Woods in August, 2017.
UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care and Charlotte-based Atrium Health called off a proposed partnership.

In August, the sides announced plans to join clinical, medical education and research resources. On Friday, they broke off those talks.

UNC Health Care CEO Dr. Bill Roper, left, and Atrium Health CEO Gene Woods in August, 2017.
UNC Health Care

There appear to be more disagreements than initially thought in a proposed combination of UNC Health Care and Charlotte-based Atrium Health – formerly Carolinas HealthCare System.

In August, the massive health care systems announced a plan to "join their clinical, medical education and research resources ... with the goal of entering into final agreements by the end of the year."

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Healthcare in North Carolina is a tale of corporate giants in which business moves have major spillover effects on access and quality of healthcare for millions of residents. 

Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

With the New Year, Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden became UNC Health Care's 13th affiliated hospital.

As part of the agreement, it also changed its name to become UNC Rockingham Health Care.

Duke University Hospital, which is part of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham
Emery P. Dalesio / AP

The basketball rivalry between Duke University and the University of North Carolina is legendary, but a federal lawsuit says the two elite institutions have agreed not to compete in another prestigious area: The market for highly skilled medical workers.

Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Community hospitals play an important role. Think, for example, of where your children were born. You probably have a good association with that hospital.

These hospitals, particularly in rural communities, are crucial not just for health, but for a community's whole ecosystem, according to Chris Ellington, UNC Health Care chief finance officer.

An air ambulance lands on the helipad at UNC Hospitals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dan Sears / UNC

UNC Health Care will acquire Morehead Memorial Hospital out of bankruptcy. In July, the nonprofit hospital in Eden filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sought bids to be acquired.

UNC Health Care
UNC Health Care / UNC Health Care

Updated 2:43 p.m., August 31, 2017

Two major healthcare organizations in North Carolina are planning a merger. UNC Health Care of Chapel Hill wants to join with Carolinas Health-Care System of Charlotte. 

Durham Regional Hospital
Duke Medecine

Hospitals in the Triangle were consistently graded high in patient safety.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit health organization, uses 30 measures of hospital safety data to grade health systems. It assigns letter grades to make the grades simpler to understand.

UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care announced plans to add a new surgical tower on the Chapel Hill campus.

The addition will replace aging operating rooms that are a tight fit for modern surgical teams, according to Chief Operating Officer Brian Goldstein.

gloved hands holding blood packet and needle
Fotos GOVBA / Flickr/Creative Commons

Are you about to have a medical procedure? Have you chosen a provider yet? Before you do, you might consider taking a look at what the procedure will cost. Blue Cross-Blue Shield of North Carolina now has an easy online tool  to help you do just that.

We used the tool to search for a variety of common procedures. The user can enter a town or zip code, and the number of miles s/he is willing to travel.

Jason deBruyn, Triangle Business Journal
Triangle Business Journal

  

The Affordable Care Act creates new policies to keep healthcare costs down. As revenue streams shift, healthcare systems look for new ways to make money.

And UNC Health care seeks to gain a share of the Medicare market in Wake County. Host Frank Stasio talks with Triangle Business Journal reporter Jason deBruyn about the changes and his latest reporting. 

Elderly senior citizen hand on cane
Meena Kadri, Flickr, Creative Commons

Researchers are raising questions about malnutrition among North Carolina's senior citizens. Doctors at UNC Hospitals report, over a two month period, more than half of patients ages 65 or older who came to the emergency department were either malnourished or a risk of malnutrition.

The study looked at about 140 older patients and saw no notable difference in the nutrition of rural versus urban seniors. There was also no noticeable difference between genders. The greater discrepancy came with access to proper food.

A picture of colorized Ebola particles.
Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine / Wikipedia

North Carolina health officials are following the spread of the Ebola virus in Western Africa. It was announced this week that two aid workers from North Carolina-based relief organizations have tested positive for the virus.

Dr. Kent Brantley of Samaritan's Purse and Nancy Writebol of Service in Mission were both working to combat the outbreak at a hospital in Liberia when they were infected.

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

UNC Healthcare has cut back the number of patients it's seeing at several of its facilities over the past two weeks. The hospital system is in the process of transitioning to a new electronic medical records system, and the cutbacks are part of anticipated roll-out period procedure.

The system, known as EPIC, is the same records software being implemented at Duke and Novant health systems. EPIC will allow patients to more seamlessly transition between the state's hospitals.

National Naval Medical Center physician, Capt. David Thompson performs an ear tube surgery on a young hospital patient. According to Thompson, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, ear tubes are very common among children and dramatically reduce ...
Seaman Erica Mater / U.S. Navy 040203-N-4182M-001

Researchers at the University of North Carolina and RTI International have found that children who have tubes implanted in their ears to remove fluid pressure fare just as well in the long run as kids who wait out the symptoms under a doctor's care.

The small tubes are surgically implanted in a child’s eardrums to relieve the condition, called otitis media with effusion. Nearly 670,000 kids undergo the procedure in America each year, making it one of the most common surgeries for children.

Bill Roper, UNC Health Care
UNC

Americans pay more per capita for healthcare than anywhere in the world, but the outcomes are far from the best. And when it comes to improving the system, the only thing experts agree on is that its complicated. The Affordable Care Act is an attempt at comprehensive reform.

Bill Roper is head of the UNC Health Care system. He has spoken out in favor of Obamacare. He acknowledges there are downsides, but he says there is one undeniable benefit.:

UNC Health Care
UNC Health Care / UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care announced a new partnership with Nash Health Care in Rocky Mount on Monday. The partnership allows Nash to access some of the resources of the larger UNC system, including medical supplies and management services.

The partnership gives UNC 0.2% of Nash's annual revenue, or an estimated $400,000-a-year to start.

UNC Health Care has opened a new mental hospital in Wake County after building repairs caused a two-month delay. 

Johnston Medical Center - Smithfield
Johnston Health

Johnston County's hospitals are partnering with UNC Health Care to expand their reach in the eastern Triangle.  Leaders with both systems say the move will keep costs down for patients as health care laws change at the state and federal levels. 

Johnston Health CEO Chuck Elliot says the Affordable Care Act and North Carolina's decision to opt out of Medicaid expansion makes the partnership necessary.

UNC Health Care is growing its network of hospitals with the addition of High Point Regional.

Wake County residents who need mental health care could become UNC Health Care patients later this year.

A legislative committee has voted to recommend limiting the size of UNC Health Care.

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