Changes at Summa Health continue with another contract non-renewal and the departure of one of its internal medicine residency leaders.
Unity Health Network announced in late February that Dr. Troy Bishop was joining its Family Medicine, Internal Medicine & Pediatrics division. Bishop, Summa's clerkship director for internal medicine and program director for transitional year, will no longer be employed by Summa Health as of March 31, according to a statement from Unity Health.
Unity Health Network's division of Neurology, Neuroscience and Sleep Medicine was notified this week that its contract will not be renewed when it expires June 1. The division, formerly known as Neurology Neuroscience Associates, Inc. (NNA), has 12 doctors and has had a contract with Summa for more than 10 years, according to a Unity spokesperson.
Summa spokesperson Mike Bernstein said in a statement that the notification gives Summa several months "for a smooth transition."
"In order to ensure continuity of care for our patients, we have contracted with Akron Neurology, Inc. (ANI), an independent physician group, to provide these services effective June 1, 2017," Bernstein said. "We are making these changes to partner with a physician group that shares our vision for population health and is more closely aligned with our accountable care organization – NewHealth Collaborative."
This decision comes months after another non-renewal sent the health system off to a tumultuous start to 2017.
Dr. Dr. Thomas Malone resigned as president and CEO after vocal opposition to a decision to not renew the contract of the independent physician group that had staffed its emergency departments for decades. The system also saw backlash for its decision to not renew a contract with a critical care physician group. Summa maintains that these decisions were separate. Summa Board Chair James McIlvaine said the neurology contract was also a separate decision.
Dr. Cliff Deveny, former senior leader at Summa, is returning to Akron to serve as interim president and CEO.
In early February, it was announced that the emergency medicine residency program at Summa Health would lose its accreditation, and the system was been put on probation by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education.
According to Unity Health Network, it was not given a reason for why the contract wasn't renewed. Bernstein said the non-renewal was the result of an analysis of the system's neuroscience and sleep medicine strategy. Summa has been in the process of reviewing this since December 2015, Bernstein said.
McIlvaine attributed the non-renewal to alignment issues and said the board of directors approved the decision.
A statement from Unity Health Network said, "We will work to ensure a smooth and professional transition of these services, and are grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the community."
Bishop, who has been involved in educating medical students and residents for 17 years, will become a full-time physician with Unity Health on April 1, according to a statement, which also noted that he will no longer be employed by Summa Health or affiliated with the Summa Health Medical Education program as of the end of this month.
"Dr. Bishop is a valued physician and we're pleased he will continue to treat patients in our community," Bernstein said in a statement. "We wish him the best."
"Summa Health decides not to renew neurology contract with Unity Health Network" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.