Friday, March 11, 2005

Hailey clinic's ownership fuzzy

Physicians retain services and lease

Express Staff Writer

As doctors affiliated with the Hailey Medical Clinic enter a new management structure with Magic Health Partners of Twin Falls (MHP), the six physicians continue to collect on accounts for the old partnership, which ended Dec. 1 2004.

But the new partnership, called Wood River Family Medicine, seems to disperse the ownership of the business, which includes the Hailey clinic and Sun Valley Family Practice in Ketchum and all the associated medical equipment. The doctors will maintain ownership of their medical practice, but MHP owns all the equipment.

It was previously reported that the doctors affiliated with the clinic would no longer own the business. However, with the new partnership, ownership of medical services actually remains with the physicians, said St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center Community Relations Manager Tanya Keim.

The doctors still carry any remaining debt from the old partnership, but who holds the purse at the end of the day under the new partnership is not entirely clear.

The doctors still carry the lease on the Hailey Medical Clinic building, owned by Blaine County, said Debbie Kytle, administrator for MHP. The clinic is to be renamed the Wood River Medical Clinic.

"It is confusing," said Debbie Kytle, administrator for Magic Health Partners. Patient bills will be from Wood River Family Medical Clinic, not MHP, she added.

As a sub-contractor to the doctors, MHP is responsible for managing services like billing, Kytle said.

St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Boise is a principal behind the formation of MHP. Together with Magic Valley Regional Medical Center in Twin Falls, the hospital is interested in supporting the efficient management of the Hailey clinic because about 38 percent of the Ketchum hospital's income comes from the doctor's affiliation with the hospital, said St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center CEO Bruce Jensen.

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