Fairview Health Services has officially become M Health Fairview, the academic health system announced Wednesday.
Minneapolis-based M Health Fairview is a joint clinical agreement between Fairview, the University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Physicians announced in September 2018 that took effect Jan. 1. Wednesday's announcement marks more than a rebranding, but the acceleration of efforts to reorganize how care is delivered systemwide.
"It's not just an ad campaign," Scott Weber, M Health Fairview's chief marketing, communications and digital experience executive, said, "but it really is, we think, a manifestation of this movement to fix healthcare that started last September."
The health system says it's transforming care delivery so that it happens by service lines and not around geography or tied to hospitals. Each service line will have a clinical chief from the university and a service line lead from Fairview, Weber said.
A patient diagnosed with cancer, for example, currently has to bounce around different locations within the health system, including traveling to the flagship University of Minnesota Medical Center for surgeries. Going forward, M Health Fairview will coordinate care between that patient's oncologist, interventional radiologist and surgeon, with more of it being delivered in the patient's own community.
"We're moving that burden of coordination from the patient, and we want to take that on," Weber said. "We want to make this experience as frictionless as we can."
In practice, that means more of the university's physicians will practice in M Health Fairview's local clinics as opposed to being concentrated around the flagship medical center in Minneapolis, as they are today.
"They'll expand their reach," Weber said. "This gives them the platform to do that."
M Health Fairview has 10 hospitals, 60 primary-care clinics and other services, as well as 34,000 employees.
Fairview Health Services drew nearly $97 million in operating income on $5.7 billion in operating revenue in 2018, compared with $98.5 million in operating income on $5.2 billion in revenue in 2017. The health system drew just $5 million in excess revenue over expenses last year because of a steep investment loss, compared with a $452 million surplus in 2017.
M Health Fairview will use the university's iconic block letter M in its branding, and Wednesday's announcement marks the public launch of that logo, including commercials and uniforms and signage that will eventually be swapped out on buildings.
Fairview's merger with St. Paul-based HealthEast became effective June 1, 2017, adding four hospitals, nearly 7,500 employees and 800 employed and aligned providers to the health system. Those operations will now fall under the M Health Fairview brand.
The University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview Health Services first announced their expanded partnership in September 2018. The agreement, effective Jan. 1, 2019, unites the entities under a shared care-delivery system with a single brand and leadership structure. The organizations unveiled the M Health Fairview name in September 2018.
The organizations have also been developing M Health Fairview's Health Transformation Center, which occupies a couple floors in a building near the system's headquarters. That's where team members use artificial intelligence to better manage patient care. Officials worked with Southwest Airlines and FedEx to learn about aligning resources to meet patient demands, Weber said. Eventually, patients will notice simpler care with fewer phone numbers and contact points, he said.
A major goal behind the whole effort is to reinvent healthcare into an easier experience, Fairview CEO James Hereford said in a statement.
"By organizing care around health conditions rather than being constrained by traditional boundaries, we are simplifying the care experience and bringing top experts together for patients no matter where they see us, which could include a clinic, hospital, home, the workplace or via telemedicine," he said.