Physician employment model coming to Alaska

Elsewhere in the country, the trend toward employing physicians is old news. That's not so, however, in Alaska, where a proposed acquisition by a Fairbanks hospital could shift the state's business practices into line with other states. In an otherwise unremarkable deal, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital has proposed to acquire the Tanana Valley Clinic, which includes about 40 physicians. The deal would bring these physicians on board alongside of three existing physician employees, two psychiatrists and cardiologist. Until recently, the hospital has been struggling to recruit enough physicians to its rural location, spending an average of $35,000 per hire.

The deal should help Fairbanks Memorial move beyond recruitment mode--in fact, it should give the hospital control of about one-fourth of physicians working in the city--and simplify things for Tanana as well. It also helps the hospital avoid Stark restrictions governing most relationships with independent physicians and groups. Not only that, the deal serves as a model for other Alaska hospitals, which haven't been as prone to employ physicians as facilities in larger markets, observers say.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this Fairbanks Daily News-Miner piece

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