Brown University forms partnership to create one of Rhode Island's largest multispecialty physician practices

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Brown University is partnering with six physician practices to create a large multispeciality organization.

Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School has created a new partnership with six medical practices in Rhode Island, which will make it one of the largest multispecialty practices in the state. 

The partnership, funded by an undisclosed investment from Brown’s medical school, brings together six independent practices with multiple specialties, according to a university announcement.

The new nonprofit federation, Brown Physicians Inc., will employ more than 500 doctors, all members of the Warren Alpert Medical School.

"We believe that collaborating with our clinical partners to more tightly integrate patient care, research and education will result in a significant and positive impact on the local community," said University President Christina Paxson in the announcement.

The agreement to form the new federation will take effect on July 1. The six physician foundations joining in the new nonprofit include The Neurology Foundation Inc.; University Emergency Medicine Foundation; University Medicine Foundation; University Surgical Associates Inc.; Brown Urology Inc. and Brown Dermatology Inc.

The new venture comes together at a time of major upheaval in the healthcare system in Rhode Island, according to The Providence Journal. That includes plans by Care New England, the state’s second largest health system, to join Massachusetts’ health system, Partners HealthCare. Care New England is seeking permission to sell Memorial Hospital, a teaching hospital of Brown’s medical school, to a California company, Prime Healthcare, the newspaper reported.

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It also comes at a time of great change for physician practices, including an increase in hospital ownership. It’s estimated that 38% of U.S. physicians are now employed by hospitals and health systems.