U of M, Fairview Move Forward on Enhanced Partnership Agreement

June 18, 2018 06:15 PM

The University of Minnesota's board of regents Monday approved a non-binding letter of intent outlining the broad terms of an enhanced partnership agreement between the school, U of M Physicians and Fairview Health Services.

The terms outlined in the letter of intent, which was approved by Fairview's board of directors last week, will continue to be negotiated by all parties involved with an eye toward gaining final approval in September.

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Once finalized, according to a release from the school, the new agreement would run through the end of 2026, with the option for a 10-year extension in 2023.

Both U of M Physicians and Fairview would remain independent organizations under the terms of the final agreement outlined in the letter of intent.

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Fairview purchased the U of M Hospitals and Clinics from the state of Minnesota in 1997.

After voting in May 2017 not to renew a 2013 Master Integrated Structure Agreement between the parties, the U of M's board agreed to a one-month extension in May of this year, but it was due to expire at the end of June.

According to a joint news release from the school and Fairview, the letter of intent states final agreements will include Fairview agreeing to annual support of the university's medical school, ranging from $35 million in 2018 to $50 million by 2022.

The release states that financial support will be "dedicated primarily to tenure track faculty recruitment and fostering and expanding research in support of the next medical innovations and development of our future health workforce."

The final agreement would also include the parties agreeing to "uniting the work of the joint care delivery system under one name and brand where today the University and Fairview maintain several clinical care identities."

Other components of a final agreement would include "a single operating structure that includes academic physician leadership and fosters the engagement of the diverse physician and providers group that care for our communities."

As well as continued capital investments, including an initial $111 million in work already underway at the U of M Medical Center.

"As a gesture of goodwill, Fairview has already committed and is spending now $111 million to refurbish the hospital, expand operating rooms and do other improvements to the hospital here at the U of M Medical Center," said Mac Baird, the Chief Operating Officer of University of Minnesota Physicians, who also serves as the Co-President of M Health.

"We are pleased that the University's faculty and our physician practice plan can bring their strengths to this partnership in new and meaningful ways," said U of M President Eric Kaler said in a statement contained in the release. "The Medical School's focus on truly understanding healthcare's greatest challenges, discovery and development of treatments and cures will continue to complement Fairview's attention to innovative patient care and its presence in Minnesota communities. Together, we will provide better and more comprehensive care to Minnesotans."

James Hereford, Fairview president and CEO, has led the Fairview team's engagement in the partnership for its next phase.
"In reimagining our future, we've focused our efforts on how we can best advance our shared vision for improving health, innovating on the delivery of care, discovering new treatments and cures and educating the health workforce to help the people of our region lead longer, healthier lives," says Hereford. "We believe we can better serve our communities by creating a simpler, more seamless experience for people as they access our full continuum of care and services and provide them more rapid access to medical discoveries, treatments and cures."
 

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Frank Rajkowski

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