News Release

University of Minnesota, U of M Physicians and Fairview enhance M Health Agreement

Today, the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview Health Services announced an agreement to move forward with an effort to create a nationally-renowned health system that combines academic and community resources to provide the very best clinical care to patients and communities, while supporting research and education across the joint healthcare delivery system. A non-binding Letter of Intent, approved today by the University’s Board of Regents and by Fairview’s Board of Directors last week, outlines the broad terms that will be negotiated by all parties prior to final approval this fall.

Once finalized, a new agreement would continue through Dec. 31, 2026, with an option for a 10-year extension in 2023. It is expected to enhance the partnership to allow growth and innovation in the aligned enterprise, improve coordination to serve patients and communities and increase support for the University’s education and research missions across the care delivery system. The vision and structure of the clinical enterprise combines the strengths of the organizations to focus on high-value, patient-centered care, academic inquiry and innovation.

“We’re pleased that the University’s faculty and our physician practice plan can bring their strengths to this partnership in new and meaningful ways,” said Eric Kaler, University of Minnesota president. “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.”

According to the Letter of Intent, final agreements will include:

  • Annual support – ranging from $35 million in calendar year 2018 to $50 million by 2022 –  to the University’s Medical School, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) will remain an independent organization that, following the University’s land-grant mission, will work with other partners and will maintain the University’s brand in the market. Fairview will also remain an independent organization and maintain business outside of the aligned clinical enterprise.
  • A focus on leading research, education and patient care aimed at discovering new approaches to improving health from primary care through complex and hospital care.
  • Continued capital investments to ensure the highest quality care settings – including an initial $111 million in work already underway at University of Minnesota Medical Center.
  • Performance incentives to foster enhanced patient satisfaction, quality and safety, access, efficient use of resources and other efforts to better the partnership.

Negotiations on behalf of the University are being led by Dr. Jakub Tolar, dean of the Medical School, interim vice president for Health Sciences and University of Minnesota Physicians Board chair.

“The Letter of Intent is a significant step. The true value, of course, will be the actions and decision that follow. To realize our obligation to the State of Minnesota and to fulfill our land grant mission, the Medical School needs a partner committed to the academic mission. Today, the Board of Regents approved a new shared vision and ambition for our partnership with Fairview Health Services,” said Tolar.

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.

The Letter of Intent provides the guide posts for final agreements, due to be complete by September 1, 2018. The negotiations build on the more than 20-year relationship that the University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) have with Fairview.

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