University of Minnesota, UMPhysicians & Fairview announce expanded partnership

A new agreement creates an academic health system focused on patient-centered care, innovation and clinical excellence.

M Health, UMP, and Fairview Announcement

Today, the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview announced approval of an agreement to create a nationally renowned academic health system.

The agreement expands the organizations’ current University of Minnesota Health (M Health) partnership to bring together the University of Minnesota Medical Center and Fairview’s other 11 hospitals, 56 primary care clinics and other services into a shared care delivery system led by a single leadership structure that includes academic physicians. The shared care delivery system will be united under a single brand, M Health Fairview, which will launch in 2019.

“This reimagined partnership advances our shared mission to heal, discover new treatments and cures, and educate the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School and Vice President for Clinical Affairs. “The significant increase in support to the Medical School will allow us to innovate and achieve excellence, while more effectively serving the current and future healthcare needs of our state.” 

“By leveraging academic medicine throughout the care delivery system and embracing new models of care that are focused on our patients, we will begin a new chapter in defining how care delivery should work,” said James Hereford, Fairview president and CEO. “We will remain rooted in our communities while offering Minnesotans more rapid access to medical discoveries, treatments and cures.”

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • A structure that promotes care designed around patient needs that is led by academic physicians. Care will be organized around health conditions, rather than geographic boundaries.
  • Strong collaboration among the diverse health providers that are part of all three organizations, including independent physicians.
  • Tighter operational alignment to simplify the care experience for patients.
  • 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.
  • Increased financial support for the University of Minnesota Medical School, which is the state’s only public medical school. Annual support will be dedicated to recruiting faculty, fostering and expanding research in search of the next medical breakthroughs and developing the future healthcare workforce.

University of Minnesota Physicians will remain an independent organization that, in support of the University’s land-grant mission, will work with other partners throughout the state to advance care. Fairview will also remain an independent organization and maintain business outside the aligned clinical enterprise.

“For more than 20 years, our organizations have worked to build a strong partnership, and I’m pleased we have reached a point at which University physicians and researchers can bring their strengths to bear in new and meaningful ways,” said University President Eric Kaler. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who helped us reach this significant milestone. Minnesotans—from our patients to most of Minnesota’s healthcare professionals and the communities they serve—will greatly benefit when this new approach is fully realized.”

The agreement takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019, and will continue through Dec. 31, 2026, with an option for a 10-year extension in 2023.

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