A multispecialty group of physicians employed by Avera in Pierre, S.D., is exploring a formal collaboration agreement with the local hospital, 60-bed St. Mary's Healthcare Center, with the goal of strengthening efforts to recruit doctors to the area.
Avera group explores hospital collaboration
The collaborative agreement between the two dozen Avera physicians and St. Mary's Healthcare could make the entities eligible for grants under the healthcare reform law, which was designed to encourage physicians to serve rural and medically underserved populations like Pierre and surrounding regions, said Jean Reed, a senior vice president with Avera.
Reed said the two entities are not discussing a merger. Rather, officials are considering some type of professional services agreement that would allow for joint planning on physician recruitment, and no deadline to formalize the agreement has been set.
The Pierre physicians became part of Avera nearly two years ago, and the group will soon change its corporate name to Avera Medical Group Pierre, Reed said.
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