In the middle of the talks, Atrium announced last month plans to combine with Navicent.
In January, UNC Board of Governors member Tom Fetzer, a health care lobbyist, questioned the legality of the proposed corporation, and said UNC Health conducted clandestine discussions about the deal with Atrium for months without notifying the Board of Governors.
Daughtry said the issue always came down to “who would control the checkbook.” Atrium, being the larger organization, was reluctant to cede control, he said.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurer, announced opposition to the deal in January, pointing to research it says shows health care consolidation drives up prices for consumers.
Folwell has said the health plan is the single largest customer of UNC Health, giving rise to his worries about possibly higher health care prices.