DCH not renewing Pinnacle Physician group contract

Changes could be coming to DCH in Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A longtime group of doctors in West Alabama say it’s current contract with DCH isn’t being renewed.

DCH stated the changes are intended to improve the level of care provided to hospital patients, but not everyone in the community agrees with the changes. Pinnacle Physician group has been serving the Northport and Tuscaloosa area for about 15 years.

Pinnacle currently has a contract with Northport Medical Center and the UA has one with Regional. DCH wants to hire one hospitalist group to work with both, citing improving connectivity to ensure quality patient care.

However, Pinnacle Physician founder Dr. Charles Abney said the one-size-fits-all approach being proposed by DCH administration might not be best since their Northport branch is doing well.

About 11 doctors make up the team who’ve built strong relationships with hospital staff and treated Covid patients, including Margaret Rains, who battled the virus in the hospital for over a week.

“I’ve recovered a lot better than I ever thought I would. We are not going to have the personal care and feeling that we’ve had with Pinnacle,” said Rains.

“Reach out to your representatives and tell them about Pinnacle. Tell them we are local doctors who really care about this community. We live here, we worship here, we shop here,” said Dr. Abney.

Pinnacle Physician group will now have to compete against other groups to possibly gain a new contract working with both DCH hospitals in Tuscaloosa County. This process is known as request for proposal development review, which could take up to a year before they select anyone.

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