Health Care

It’s a deal: Blue Cross NC reaches agreement to acquire FastMed's North Carolina locations

By Staff Report, posted 3 months ago
PHOTO PROVIDED BY: FASTMED 
There are 55 FastMed urgent care walk-in clinics and Family Medicine locations across the state. Blue Cross NC has agreed to acquire only FastMed’s NC locations.

On Oct. 20, 2023, Blue Cross NC announced that the company had reached an agreement to acquire all North Carolina-based locations of FastMed. According to a press release provided by Blue Cross NC, this acquisition will enable FastMed and Blue Cross NC, two North Carolina companies, to work together to fortify health care capacity in the state so North Carolinians have access to critical points of quality, affordable care.

FastMed provides a wide range of care options, including preventive, telehealth, occupational health, primary and urgent care. Currently, there are 55
FastMed urgent care walk-in clinics and Family Medicine locations across North Carolina with offices in Aberdeen, Sanford, Fayetteville, Hope Mills and more throughout the GFBJ coverage area. This pending acquisition builds on Blue Cross NC’s existing investments and their “longstanding commitment to making health care more affordable, accessible and easier to navigate.”

In the press release from Blue Cross NC, the impact of provider shortages that were magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the primary factors behind the decision.

According to Blue Cross NC, between 2016-2021, North Carolina lost about 9 percent of its direct care workforce. As the health care industry continues to change rapidly, new partnerships and affiliations to improve patient health and lower health care costs are more commonplace.

Blue Cross NC’s short-term plans for FastMed would include returning to pre-pandemic service operations.

“With approximately half of FastMed’s clinics located in rural areas of our state with limited access to health care resources, this is an important investment in North Carolina,” said Tunde Sotunde, Blue Cross NC’s CEO in a press release. “This pending acquisition would fortify critical access points of care across the state and would benefit everyone, not just Blue Cross NC members. As a North Carolina-based, mission-driven, fully taxed, not-for-profit company, we serve all North Carolinians.”

This pending acquisition is planned to close in early 2024. Blue Cross NC, which has been a non-controlling minority investor in FastMed since 2012, has agreed to acquire only FastMed’s North Carolina locations. FastMed would operate independently from Blue Cross NC, which is a fully taxed

not-for-profit company headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. FastMed would continue to serve all North Carolinians and those visiting the state, not just Blue Cross NC members. Blue Cross NC members can search for in-network care locations through the Blue Connect portal. The completion of
this pending acquisition is subject to the fulfillment of customary closing conditions.
Blue Cross NC and FastMed will collaborate on and invest in ways to further enhance the patient experience at North Carolina FastMed locations.

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