University of Minnesota Physicians works to lead and advance the practice of medicine while also improving the lives of their patients in partnership with the University of Minnesota and Fairview Health Services. When these parties began work on a new state-of-the-art Ambulatory Care Center, which is under construction on the University campus, the challenge of consolidating specialty outpatient services into one location—including 160 exam rooms, 55 infusion bays, 10 operating rooms, and imaging, lab, pharmacy, and rehab capabilities—proved daunting, not only from an operational standpoint but also from a legal perspective.
Because of the size, scope, and complexity of the ACC project, no one partner—the University, Fairview, nor UMPhysicians—had the available resources to complete the project alone. Instead, the University committed the land and UMPhysicians and Fairview decided to split ownership of the outpatient clinics going into the ACC, with 70% of the services being owned by a joint venture entity owned by Fairview and UMPhysicians with the other 30% being owned by Fairview. This plan presented one snag—the federal government had never before approved a joint venture structure in which a hospital and a multi-specialty physician group jointly owned services to which both owners refer patients. UMPhysicians turned to its outside counsel, Gray Plant Mooty, to help make this unprecedented plan a reality.
In 2010, Gray Plant Mooty’s legal team received a first-of-its-kind approval from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services office, which permitted the joint venture to move forward. By overcoming this major legal hurdle, Gray Plant Mooty’s lawyers cleared a path for UMPhysicians and Fairview to finalize negotiations between them as well as the University of Minnesota. The ACC is expected to open in January 2016 with a reimagined patient experience. UMPhysicians, in partnership with Fairview and the University, will soon be able to provide more of its world-class collaborative care, breakthrough research, and expert medical training in an outpatient center focused on patient needs and the principles of innovation, research, and cost-effective care. This was a clear win not only for our client, but also for the community.