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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has agreed to acquire more than 50 North Carolina-based locations of FastMed. The pending acquisition is set to close in early 2024, and once the deal is finalized, FastMed would operate independently from the not-for-profit Blue Cross NC. The Blues plan has been a non-controlling minority investor in FastMed since 2012, and it will acquire only FastMed’s North Carolina locations. FastMed also provides telehealth, occupational health, primary care, and urgent care in Arizona, Texas, and Florida and has been adding new brick and mortar locations throughout its network this year. 

Now what? Between 2016-2021, North Carolina lost about 9% of its direct care workforce, according to a Blue Cross NC press release announcing the deal. The short-term plans for FastMed once the deal closes “would include returning to pre-pandemic service operations.” In other words, it sounds like Blue Cross NC aims to shore up staffing and service lines once this large payer becomes the owner of the UC centers. 

Blues Plan Acquires 50 FastMed UCs