In what appears to be an unfortunate signal of what is to come in a heated political season, a Raleigh organization supporting State Treasurer Dale Folwell has decided to target NHRMC in the latest round of ads attacking health care systems in the state. In the commercial airing on local television, the group claims non-profit hospitals, “like New Hanover” are using “secret contracts” to bill “up to 900 percent more than Medicare.”
We have no idea who might bill at rates up to 900 percent more than Medicare, but it certainly isn’t NHRMC.
In fact, in September, Folwell told WECT that he considers NHRMC to be a “model” of what a community hospital should be: “From my perspective, it is a high quality, low cost, high accessibility, profitable community hospital.” He reiterated this sentiment in an interview with the Wilmington Business Journal published just yesterday in the context of protesting the consideration of NHRMC forming a partnership with a larger health system. Folwell has been fairly vocal in his opposition to large health care systems, as they have refused to sign his proposed contracts for providing care to state employees at lower rates than they have received in the past.
We have contacted the group running the ads and asked them to take them down, but so far they have not indicated they will, despite being unable to offer any proof of their claims.