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."
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