Top Republican lawmakers will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to announce a breakthrough in the impasse between two of the Raleigh area's top hospitals. (UPDATE: Read the story on the annoucement here.)
UNC Health Care and Wake Med battled for months and took their fight to the legislature. Wake Med made a bid to buy Rex Healthcare, a UNC offshoot, more than a year ago. The move sparked closed-door negotiations and legislative hearings on whether the state is bigfooting private industry in the healthcare market. The press conference is at 3:30 p.m. at the statehouse and will feature state Rep. Harold Brubaker and Sen. Tom Apodaca.
The protracted battle demonstrated the tensions in health care brought in part by national reforms that demand health systems get bigger and doctor practices to affiliate with hospitals for more security and leverage with private insurers. In October 2010, WakeMed lost the allegiance of a lucrative cardiology practice to Rex, prompting WakeMed leaders to complain that Rex Hospital, a non-profit bought by UNC in 2000, used its public status to unfairly compete for doctors and funds.