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UNMH, Lovelace join forces on rehab services

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Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital is a 62-bed facility that provides inpatient and outpatient services. The facility will partner with UNM Medical Group to utilize its academic and educational expertise. COURTESY OF LOVELACE HEALTH SYSTEM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The UNM Medical Group and Lovelace Health System will merge their respective expertise in rehabilitation services with a new joint venture.

Under an agreement announced Wednesday, Lovelace and UNM physicians and providers will deliver services at Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital and its outpatient therapy clinics starting this spring. The hospital will be renamed Lovelace UNM Rehabilitation Hospital.

The UNM School of Medicine and Lovelace also plan to launch a new residency program in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation there.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Lovelace will be the majority partner in the new entity and retain management responsibility of the hospital and outpatient clinics, said Derrick Jones, CEO of Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital. No layoffs are expected in the new partnership, which will launch in March or April, said Jones.

UNM will appoint a chief academic officer to join the hospital’s leadership team, which will be governed by a new six-member board — three from each institution.

“There’s a great synergy between UNM Hospital’s state-of-the art trauma center and our rehabilitation hospital,” said Jones. He said Lovelace has seem an increased number of UNM patients coming to its facilities after being treated for stroke, brain injury and musculoskeletal disorders at UNM — especially since the advent of Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid coverage in the state.

“It’s an innovative partnership; not a lot of these are happening around the country,” said Jones.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Lovelace to provide expanded rehabilitation services, which can bring a higher level of rehabilitation learning and growth to New Mexicans,” said Paul B. Roth, MD, UNM’s chancellor for Health Sciences. “The Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital and its clinics deliver a high level of quality patient care. We are proud to join with them to support our academic mission and align our clinical resources.”

In addition to Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital, Lovelace operates five outpatient rehabilitation clinics in Albuquerque and Santa Fe that will also be part of this partnership with UNM Medical Group, a multi-specialty group practice that serves as the faculty practice of the UNM School of Medicine.

The partnership does not include the outpatient rehabilitation clinics at Lovelace Women’s Hospital, Lovelace Westside Hospital or current UNM rehabilitation facilities.

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