NC bill would limit public hospital disclosures

Triggered by a newspaper's disclosure of details on the sale of a medical practice to a local hospital authority, a North Carolina state Senator has filed a bill which would make such contracts confidential. The newspaper, the Wilkes Journal-Patriot, had sued the Wilkes Regional Medical Center Hospital Authority to get details on a physician buyout contract, under which the medical center paid $650,000 to buy the assets of a local gastroenterologist's practice. The medical center had also agreed to pay the gastroenterologist a $750,000 annual salary to perform about 2,200 procedures per year. The medical center had argued that it needed to keep the details of such arrangements quiet if it was to compete with private healthcare providers, but the state's Supreme Court rejected that argument. Now, on request from public hospitals in the state, Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand (D) is attempting to block such disclosures through legislation.

To learn more about the bill:
- read this article from The News & Observer