Archive for Saturday, February 17, 2007

Board wants to slow down hospital agreement

February 17, 2007


A leader of the board for Kansas University Hospital says she's not sold on a March 31 deadline that's been set as the target completion date for a controversial hospital deal.

"To have an arbitrary deadline for such a monumental piece of work and a historic activity ... it can't be rushed and shouldn't be rushed," said Betty Keim, a member of the KU Hospital Authority Board.

The board's executive committee voted Tuesday to "acknowledge" - not approve or reject - a letter of intent that sets March 31 as the deadline for negotiations to be completed in an ambitious three-way deal that would start steering some Kansas University Medical Center faculty and students to St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

Leaders of KU's medical school, which supplies faculty and students to staff KU Hospital, support the deal, saying it's necessary if KU is to become a leader in the life sciences.

But KU Hospital leaders said they were shut out of negotiations between the school and St. Luke's, and that the plan could devastate them financially.

The matter will be taken up when the full 19-member KU Hospital Authority board meets the second week in March.

"The board is not signing off to somebody else the language for things that are binding for the hospital," Keim said. "We need to branch this out now. We need the actual people who are going to be involved in it to be participating in this."

The Kansas Board of Regents, which oversees KU, is conducting an inquiry into the plans at the urging of House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the regents, Neufeld urged the board to let KU Hospital leaders present their side of the story and to "hear from nonadministrative faculty members" at the hospital.

Neufeld said that after reviewing the letters of intent, it became clear to him that "the best interests and integrity of our state's higher education system and the medical education system were not being considered."


KS 11 years, 3 months ago

It's about time those folks woke up and paid attention to this. The agreements may be wonderful, but extreme care should be taken in making those decisions. No need to rush to judgement.

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