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Archive for Friday, December 21, 2007

Kansas Board of Regents signs off on KU Hospital affiliation

December 21, 2007

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Affiliation Agreement ( .PDF )

— Every time someone new approves the Kansas University Medial Center-KU Hospital affiliation, smiles fill the room.

This time, it was the Kansas Board of Regents' turn to sign off on the proposed affiliation, and board chairwoman Christine Downey-Schmidt said they did it with "peace and good cheer." The vote in favor of the agreement was unanimous.

"I can't imagine a moment that has more importance for us than being able to approve this," she said.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius also appeared at the regents meeting, though on an unrelated matter, and urged approval of the deal.

"I'm very enthusiastically in support of it. If that matters to anyone, vote yes," she said at the beginning of the morning meeting. "It's been a long time coming. It's great for the university, great for the hospital and much more importantly, great for the state of Kansas."

The approval came after a nearly hourlong question-and-answer phase during which the regents, who have had a draft of the affiliation for more than a week, sought clarification on a number of key points. Among the new aspects they identified was a provision that if KUMC and KU Hospital can't modify an existing Medicaid financing agreement to benefit KU physicians, KU hospital will pay KU Physicians Inc. an additional $1.25 million.

Regent Gary Sherrer, who had had to deal with cancer and health problems in his family, said he was convinced the entire negotiation was good for KUMC and KU Hospital.

"It's amazing how far this has come. There's been a lot of give and take, and that's generally a good thing," he said.

The agreement was also approved Thursday by the KUPI board, meaning it can go into effect with the signatures of KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway, KU Hospital CEO Bob Page and KUPI President Dr. Kirk Benson.

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