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Fairview Health CEO leaving after 15 months in post

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Rulon Stacey was apparently not what the doctor ordered for Fairview Health Services.

After leading the hospital system for little more than a year, Fairview's board announced Tuesday that Stacey will depart on March 1 because of "professional differences and personal reasons," the Business Journal reports.

A Fairview representative tells the Business Journal the board largely agreed with a strategic plan that Stacey crafted, but there were disagreements over how to implement it.

Continued turmoil

Stacey's arrival late in 2013 capped a turbulent period for Fairview Health Services.

Its merger talks with Sanford Health had sparked criticism at the Minnesota Capitol, not long after the state Attorney General sounded off about aggressive collection tactics by one of Fairview's contractors, Accretive Health.

Minneapolis-based health care consultant Allen Baumgarten tells Modern Health Care Stacey was viewed as a leader who could right the ship at Fairvew, and says he's surprised to learn of his departure.

The Pioneer Press reports Fairview operates six hospitals and more than 100 clinics, including the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

It's also a 50 percent owner of the health insurer PreferredOne, which made a splash last year by abruptly dropping out of Minnesota's health insurance exchange after its low-priced premiums proved unprofitable.

Modern Health Care says there's no financial crisis at Fairview, with the most recent bondholder documents showing a 4 percent operating margin.

A search for Stacey's replacement begins immediately. Until then, Fairview says three executives will share the responsibilities of the CEO's office, the Business Journal reports.

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