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Business NC: Veteran Charlotte physician pushes back on corporate-owned health care

Business NC reporter Edward Martin interviewed Tryon CEO Dr. Dale Owen and others for a story titled, “A veteran Charlotte physician pushes back on corporate-owned health care.”

Below are a few highlights from the story. Read it in its entirety on the Business NC website.

  • Cardiologist Dale Owen was among 88 doctors who quit Charlotte-based Atrium Health in 2018 to form Tryon Medical Partners. He’s now CEO at Tryon, which has grown to 11 clinics, 105 doctors and 185,000 patients.
  • Owen recalls when he first told patients he was going independent. “I went out in the waiting room and shook everybody’s hands and told them,” he says. “They all stood up and clapped and cheered. Patients wanted to feel like they were important again.”
  • Owen says significant pressure for physicians to see more patients prompted his move to help start an independent group. “You felt rushed all the time. If the patient has multiple issues to deal with, the physician doesn’t have time, so he winds up sending out a lot of referrals.” The referrals were to specialists who were also in practices owned by the hospital system.
  • “Referrals then create a lot more testing and more testing drives up the cost of care,” Owen says. “This country has the highest health care costs in the world by a factor of two and yet we are just barely in — or even just outside — the top 30 in outcomes. In what other business would somebody with the highest cost and nowhere near the highest quality survive?”