Presbyterian taps physician staffing firm for 1 of its EDs

Albuquerque, N.M.-based Presbyterian Healthcare Services has selected a Tacoma, Wash.-based national staffing company to provide emergency department and hospital medicine physician and advanced practice provider services for its Santa Fe (N.M.) Medical Center, the Albuquerque Journal reported Jan. 11.  

The arrangement between the health system and Sound Physicians is slated to take effect Feb. 1. 

More than a dozen physicians at Santa Fe Medical Center's emergency room and inpatient medical unit received termination notices late last year, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Presbyterian officials wouldn't tell the newspaper the total number of physicians or other medical providers at the hospital who received termination notices. Affected clinicians will no longer be employees of the hospital, but they have been offered jobs with Sound. 

"With few exceptions, the current, outstanding Presbyterian Santa Fe emergency physicians, hospital medicine physicians, and associated APPs plan to join Sound and continue their careers at the hospital," Sound said in a statement shared with Becker's.

Presbyterian pointed to the familiar practice of hospitals and health systems using staffing agencies and external partners for recruitment services.

"For example, radiology, lab and anesthesiology services are provided by independent physician groups for most hospitals in our state," Tim Johnsen, senior vice president and COO at Presbyterian, said in a separate statement shared with Becker's. "Our commitment to the community we serve is to provide consistent, quality care to our patients and these partnerships offer additional ways to support that commitment."

Mr. Johnsen also said Presbyterian is partnering with Sound to "continue to consistently provide physician coverage in our Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center emergency department and hospitalist services."

Presbyterian currently partners with Sound at its Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho, N.M. Mr. Johnsen said the new partnership at Santa Fe Medical Center will allow the hospital's recruitment efforts "to focus on adding more specialists to our team to meet the unique needs of the community."

"We anticipate that this partnership will not result in increased costs for our patients," he added.

Presbyterian comprises nine hospitals, a multispecialty medical group with more than 900 providers and a statewide health plan. 

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