IU docs in middle of Community-Wishard deal

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The new partnership between Community Health Network and Wishard Health Services could put a third health care entity in an awkward position: the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Virtually all of the nearly 1,100 physicians who practice at Wishard Memorial Hospital and its community clinics come from the IU medical school.

But with many of those med school docs joining a venture with the Indianapolis-based hospital system Indiana University Health—a rival of Community Health—the relationship is complex at best and tense at worse.

Wishard and Community announced Monday morning that they have entered a joint operating agreement to work together to serve patients throughout Marion County.

Matt Gutwein, CEO of the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, which owns Wishard, said he expects Wishard’s relationship with the IU medical school physicians to endure—and perhaps even to grow.

“We have every intention to continue to support their mission and purpose. Our venues will continue to be fully available” to them, Gutwein said following a press conference announcing the Wishard-Community agreement. He added, “The doctors who work for us do so because they want to.”

Gutwein also said Community is interested in offering its hospitals and health care facilities as additional sites where the IU medical school physicians could see patients and teach med students.

Gutwein also said that Dr. Craig Brater, dean of the IU medical school, told Wishard and Community “that he completely supports us.”

IU medical school spokeswoman Margie Smith-Simmons wrote in an e-mail, "If and/or how this partnership affects the IU School of Medicine's relationship with Wishard has not yet been determined."

Messages left at IU Health were not immediately returned on Monday.

IU Health and the IU medical school, which are two separate organizations, formed a joint venture four years ago to bring all their employed physicians into one entity.

That organization, now called IU Health Physicians, has more than 1,000 doctors on its payroll, many of whom are professors at the IU medical school, but some of whom practice elsewhere in the IU Health hospital system.

IU Health Physicians started with aspirations of employing as many as 1,500 doctors.

As hospital systems have employed more physicians in recent years, they increasingly have pushed doctors to work with only one hospital system. For example, Central Indiana Cancer Centers sold its practice to IU Health in 2011, saying that its source of referrals was drying up as primary care doctors were increasingly loyal in their referrals to the hospital systems that employed them.

Community’s new partnership with Wishard will create a primary care behemoth that the systems argue will put them in the best position possible to handle the changes coming from federal health reform.

The two Indianapolis-based hospital systems announced Monday morning that they have formed a joint operating partnership, which will coordinate the operations of their hospitals and health care facilities.

The two systems combined will have 29 health centers providing primary care and 29 locations providing behavioral health care.

“We are by far the largest organization in those two areas,” said Community Health CEO Bryan Mills, who also will lead the new joint-operating entity.

The combined entity will be governed by a seven-member board, with four members coming from Community and three from Wishard.

Wishard,  the county-owned health system, will change its name to Eskenazi Health in 2014. Wishard is building a downtown hospital that will be the premier trauma center in Indiana as well as handle a large portion of Marion County’s indigent patients. The hospital is set to open in December.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.