Business Journal of the Triad Cites Cirillo

Friday, August 6, 2010
Novant Health enters fray in north High Point
The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area – by Steve Ivey The Business Journal

HIGH POINT — Another Triad health care player is entering the already-competitive north High Point market. Winston-Salem-based Novant Health is opening up a new primary care practice in the Guilford Village shopping center at Guilford College Road and Piedmont Parkway. It will be called Parkside Family Medicine.

Dr. Sherry Ryter-Brown, director of community relations for Novant Medical Group’s Kernersville area, said Parkside has recruited one doctor and expects to hire a second before opening later this month. Novant has a handful of doctors in Greensboro, but Parkside will be the first physician practice in High Point. In all, Novant employs 307 doctors in the Triad, mostly in Forsyth County.

“I think it’s fair to say we want to keep our eyes on the Triad as a whole,” Ryter-Brown said, noting that Novant is preparing to open its new 50-bed Kernersville Medical Center early next year.

Parkside will be less than five miles from several other health care providers owned by Novant competitors. Moses Cone owns MedCenter High Point on Willard Dairy Road, as well as a LeBauer HealthCare practice on West Wendover Avenue. High Point Regional co-owns Premier Medical Plaza with Cornerstone Health Care on Premier Drive. High Point Regional’s physician group, Regional Physicians, has also just opened a new physical medicine and spine center across the street on Premier.

Dr. Heather Fullerton said she will see patients along with two orthopedists at the new practice. She had formerly worked at the Regional Physicians physical medicine office in downtown High Point. “We saw a lot of chronic-pain patients, and there was always a notion that it was a pain practice,” Fullerton said. “Now that we’re up here on our own, we can get those referrals from the emergency rooms or from orthopedic surgeons who were getting more calls than they could take.”

The north High Point area has been a competitive region because its population — of employed people with typically high-paying private insurance — has grown. Health systems need those patients to offset the losses they take on caring for those covered by government insurers, whose reimbursements often don’t cover the full cost of care.

Anthony Cirillo, president of Huntersville-based health care marketing firm Fast Forward Consulting, said health systems are likely to continue expanding their doctor and referral networks as aspects of health care reform are implemented.

“As the whole idea of a medical home grows, a group of providers might be responsible for care,” Cirillo said. “And the providers will receive one pot of money and determine how it’s divided. So you’ll see health systems try to move into growing areas and own more of the continuum of care.”

Reach Steve Ivey at (336) 370-2909 or