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Vidant Health CEO advocates for collaboration, partnership

March 19, 2019 posted by Brian Wudkwych

Greenville, N.C. – Dr. Mike Waldrum, CEO of Vidant Health and chair of the North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA) Board of Trustees, spoke about Stand Up For ENC at this afternoon’s Power Luncheon hosted by the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce.

In his presentation, Dr. Waldrum shared concerns about the North Carolina State Treasurer’s proposal of massive cuts to health systems and hospitals across North Carolina—to the tune of more than $400 million annually.

Vidant alone stands to lose $40 million annually with an overall economic impact of more than $70 million for eastern North Carolina.

The State Treasurer’s proposal for the State Health Plan will be felt more severely in rural communities where there are fewer industries providing commercial insurance for their employees.

“We are the recognized leader for business success, strategic economic growth and community development,” said Kate Teel, president, Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce. “The economic prosperity of the community we serve depends on the success of organizations like Vidant, that provide critical services to the people who live here.”

The Treasurer’s proposal would leave hospitals and providers to rely more heavily on government-funded health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which pay far less than the actual cost of care.

“The bedrock of our mission is rural health,” Waldrum said. “It goes beyond the care we provide through our hospitals, medical practices, home health services and wellness offerings.” He specifically cited Vidant’s Community Benefit Grants Program, which supports 159 programs throughout eastern North Carolina. “For the current cycle, Vidant community grants will help more than 507,000 people develop healthier lifestyles and help prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.”

The State Health Plan provides health insurance for educators, other state employees and retirees. Over the past 30 years, the plan has amassed a large deficit, one the Treasurer proposes to solve by shifting the burden to hospitals. Vidant agrees unfunded liabilities need to be addressed, but does not support the Treasurer’s plan as the right solution for North Carolina.

“It is a complex problem that does not lend itself to a simplistic solution,” Waldrum said. “The Treasurer’s plan was developed in isolation and without consulting the hospitals, doctors and other providers who care for patients. What we need is partnership and collaboration to develop thoughtful solutions that are right for everyone depending on quality and accessible health care in North Carolina.”

For more information about Stand Up For ENC—and to learn about House Bill 184, introduced by elected representatives in support of studying this issue—visit standupforenc.org.
 

Media contact: Brian Wudkwych, 252-214-0782 or brian.wudkwych@vidanthealth.com   

 

About Vidant Health
Vidant Health is a mission-driven, 1,504-bed health system that annually serves more than 1.4 million people in 29 eastern North Carolina counties. The not-for-profit system is made up of more than 12,500 team members, eight hospitals, home health, hospice, wellness centers, and Vidant Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician and provider group with more than 500 providers in more than 90 locations in eastern North Carolina. Vidant is affiliated with The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. As a major resource for health services and education, Vidant has a mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina. For more information, visit www.vidanthealth.com.

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