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University Physicians Joins Strategic Affiliation

Industry: Health Care

Key Facts

  • 6 RI academic faculty practice plans are part of the new nonprofit Brown Physicians, Inc.
  • Brown Physicians, Inc. is the largest organization of academic physicians in RI
  • Brown Physicians, Inc. consists of over 500 physicians

The Situation

We have represented the predecessor organization, University Physicians, Inc. (UPI), since 2010 in evaluating affiliation options in light of the changing health care landscape due to the Affordable Care Act. In 2015, the Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University (SOM) proposed significant funding and an organizational model under which UPI’s faculty practice plans of UPI — Rhode Island-based, tax-exempt organizations serving the SOM and Rhode Island Hospital — would reorganize under the Brown umbrella as Brown Physicians, Inc. (BPI). These physician groups include the faculty practice plans for the departments of dermatology, emergency medicine, medicine, neurology, surgery, and urology.

The Approach

We strategically advised UPI with respect to this affiliation agreement, including governance strategies, the academic affiliation agreement, strategies for future tighter affiliation among the faculty practice plans, funding, and the various relationships among the parties.

The Outcome

The affiliation, which closed on July 1, 2017, created a tight organizational relationship among SOM, BPI, and the six faculty practice plans, consisting of over 500 physicians. The goal of the affiliation is to create closer working relationships among the faculty practice plans.  Through the affiliation, the groups have agreed to a tighter alignment of their academic missions, with the SOM dedicating significant support for BPI.

Supporting Professionals

Kate Stewart, Of Counsel in the firm’s Health Law Practice, assisted on this matter.