Report: Over 220 doctors left Mission Health since its 2019 acquisition by HCA Healthcare

Mission Health system has seen an exodus of doctors since being acquired in 2019 by HCA Healthcare, according to a recent report from North Carolina-based nonprofit outlet the Asheville Watchdog.

Citing historical listings on the six-hospital system’s Find a Doctor website, the report tallied 223 doctors that were listed in August 2019 but removed by February 2022. These included 33 family medicine physicians, 25 surgeons and 15 pediatricians or pediatric specialists, according to the report.

Per the report, over 100 of the unlisted doctors have since moved out of state. Further, the publication also cited 57 doctors who were still listed on Mission Health’s website but were no longer listed as employed or affiliated with the system.

HCA took control of Mission Health in February 2019 following “extensive negotiations” between the chain and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

As part of the deal, HCA agreed to numerous commitments regarding the local health services it would provide, facilities it would build, community benefit programs it would run and the makeup of the system’s board.

In 2020, local government officials wrote an open letter critiquing HCA’s management of Mission Health in regard to its charity care, patient safety and physician disenfranchisement.

A handful of doctors who departed Mission Health echoed several of these concerns in interviews with the Asheville Watchdog and pointed to HCA’s focus on profits as a contributor.

In a statement to the publication, HCA Healthcare North Carolina Division Director of Public and Media Relations Nancy Lindell said, “it is expected that the transition to HCA Healthcare, life events, effects of a global pandemic and the increasing demand for healthcare services, etc., would lead to both some additions and departures.”

The chain did not provide a specific number of doctors who had departed or are currently on staff at Mission Health but said that the total number is “relatively the same,” according to the publication.

Fierce Healthcare has also reached out to HCA for comment and will update this story with any reply.

HCA Healthcare tallied nearly $59 billion in total revenues this past year and nearly doubled its net income to almost $7 billion. It owns and operates more than 180 hospitals across the country and last August was hit with a lawsuit alleging raised costs and lower care quality in North Carolina following the Mission Health acquisition.