Update on CCFMG Agreements as of September 15, 2020:
Joint Statement: Community Medical Centers and CCFMG restoring partnership
Community Medical Centers and Central California Faculty Medical Group (CCFMG) agree wholeheartedly that putting patients first is, and always will be, the right thing to do. Having that common ground is the foundation and motivation for working toward restoring our partnership. We have a short-term agreement in place that will give both parties more time to work through the finer details of a long-term agreement. In the meantime, CCFMG will resume neurosurgery call coverage to support Community Regional Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center.
Strong, long-term physician and hospital partnerships are critical to our mission and responsibility to our community. We will continue to work together with transparency and in good faith on a renewed partnership and remain committed to training the next generation of talented physicians and providing essential healthcare to Valley residents.
September 11, 2020 Update:
First and foremost, we will never lose sight of the fact that our physician partners are absolutely essential to our mission and responsibility to our patients and our community.
Over the past several days, the media has conveyed misleading and untruthful information. We want to share facts behind our efforts to continue supporting critical medical programs that depend on Community.
Since we decided to create a new medical foundation model to continue to support medical outpatient services, Community sought to be transparent and to earn the full cooperation of CCFMG. Community has in earnest proposed solutions to concerns raised, since we presented initial agreements in July. As September 1 approached, we were discouraged but still hopeful agreements would be reached between CCFMG and Community.
Nearly 25-year partnership threatened
On August 31, CCFMG said it would work collaboratively with Community over the next 30 days to finish off the agreements. The next day, Community learned through news media that CCFMG leaders were accusing Community of jeopardizing patient access to key medical specialty programs including our Level 1 trauma services.
Community was given 38-hours’ notice that its faculty medical group would cease neurosurgical coverage for the Trauma Center, despite an existing funding agreement for that coverage.
Media outlets have repeatedly and erroneously reported that neurosurgery call coverage expired September 1, 2020. In fact, the term of the neurosurgery call coverage agreement is valid through September 2021. This agreement remains in place and was not terminated. Because CCFMG refused to provide neurosurgery call coverage, we quickly began arranging alternate neurosurgical coverage to support our Level 1 trauma services.
Regrettably, despite multiple meetings and proposed solutions with CCFMG leaders, it was portrayed in the media that Community is putting our patients at risk – and in the midst of the Creek Fire crisis – by not agreeing to terms that would restore neurosurgery call coverage for CRMC’s Level 1 trauma center. Our team at Community Regional, both physicians and staff, have responded beautifully to patient needs during our current wildfire crisis.
Current status of neurosurgical trauma coverage at Community Regional
Level 1 Trauma Center coverage is not in jeopardy at Community Regional. Two new neurosurgeons will begin seeing patients Friday, September 11. Fresno County’s emergency director, Dan Lynch, has been notified that all trauma services are continuing.
We value our physician partners and hope for a resolution
Community will continue to work in good faith on a new model that enables us to continue to support critical medical programs that depend on us. Community will continue working with CCFMG, to clarify and resolve the group’s concerns.
We’ve proposed to CCFMG a detailed path forward that allows for minimal disruption to patient care, to physician and staff practices, and to medical education and training. Community does not want to limit or reduce our support for medical specialty programs or to control the physicians or clinicians who provide care. This isn’t a disagreement over money. We simply want to continue supporting more directly through a traditional medical foundation model, which is a demonstrated best practice by health systems throughout the state.
As much as is in our ability to do so, we will continue to earnestly work with CCFMG to complete the agreements necessary to forge ahead. We believe that we can get past the hurdles in front of us, and that we will be able to salvage the 24-year partnership with CCFMG.
Community’s devotion to our physician partners and our patients will not waver.