Northfield Hospital

Northfield Hospital & Clinics. (News file photo)

As of Jan. 1, the working relationship between Northfield Hospital & Clinics and the Mayo Clinic network has changed.

Director of Media Relations and Community Outreach Scott Richardson said that early on, the hospital was not in the clinic business, so it needed a partner that had experience recruiting physicians and with clinic operations. Mayo Health Systems was that partner.

As the Northfield network of clinics grew into surrounding communities like Lakeville and Farmington, Ricahrdson said that Northfield Hospital owned and operated each branch, but that Mayo Health Systems provided the physician services through a professional service agreement.

“Physicians were employed by Mayo, but were employed in our network,” he said. “As you can imagine, that created its own fuzzy clarity for everyone.”

As of the first of the year, the decision was made that Northfield Hospital & Clinics could continue operations on its own, and then moved forward with reshaping the relationship with Mayo through a new service agreement. Primary care physicians became employees of Northfield Hospital & Clinics, while Mayo is turning its attention to developing more specialty services in the area.

“Mayo is still interested in having a presence in Northfield and in the south metro,” Richardson indicated, noting that through the Mayo outreach efforts, cardiology, adult allergy and neurology are provided in Northfield, Lakeville and Farmington on a rotating schedule.

Richardson said that the specialty care services are still developing and that the hospital is working with Mayo to better define those in the months to come.

“We need that help opening clinics early on,” Richardson concluded. “(Mayo) was a willing partner and served us well. Eight years into this, we now have the infrastructure and experience to do it ourselves, and it has freed them to put energy into building up the specialty services.”

In a release regarding this transition, the medical director of Mayo’s Northfield operations, Robert Miller, said that, “We’ve always had a very collaborative relationship with Northfield Hospital & Clinics and that’s built the foundation for us to look to the future, leverage the strengths of each organization and ultimately build something that will benefit the communities we serve.”

Kevin Krein is a general assignment reporter for the Northfield News. You can reach him at 507-645-1106.

Kevin Krein covers arts and entertainment, non-profits, community events and people, and matters relating to Rice County and the surrounding townships for the Northfield News and the Faribault Daily News.

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