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Saturday, December 31, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Business Digest

Health Network's Doctors Concerned About Contract

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

SEATTLE - As the primary-care facilities of Sisters of Providence Health System and Franciscan Health System prepare to spin off into a separate corporation this weekend, some physicians expressed concerns with their new contract.

At issue is an exclusionary clause in the contract that the new corporation - tentatively called the Physician Network Co. - asked doctors to sign. The clause limits doctors' ability to work at another primary-care facility in King, Pierce or Snohomish counties - where PNC's 25 clinics would operate - for three years after they quit.

"This is one of the most draconian and restrictive conditions I've seen in a contract," said one doctor at Providence, who asked not to be identified.

It is unclear how many physicians signed the contract and how many decided to quit, officials said.

Jeff Blancett, a spokesman for Providence and PNC, said the clause was simply an attempt to protect the group from being "raided by other institutions."

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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