Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2007

House gets KU Hospital proposal

Bill to sell property, use proceeds for university repairs, originated in Senate

March 7, 2007


A proposal to sell Kansas University Hospital that emerged last week in the Senate got a foothold in the House on Tuesday.

Under the proposal by state Sen. Chris Steineger, D-Kansas City, the state would sell KU Hospital and use the proceeds to pay for repairs at regents universities and help the state pension system.

Steineger said independent analyses showed that the hospital in Kansas City, Kan., could be sold for at least $800 million.

"As a Legislature, we have a reciprocal responsibility to our state employees, our teachers, our local elected officials and the students of Kansas to fix their broken retirement system and to refurbish their rundown buildings," Steineger said.

Lawmakers face an estimated $660 million in deferred maintenance and repairs at the six regents universities. Legislative leaders say they believe a $100 million-per-year increase for maintenance would eventually resolve the backlog of projects.

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System has a $5.1 billion gap between the value of its assets and its future pension obligations.

State Rep. Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie, introduced a companion bill to Steineger's in the House Appropriations Committee.

As vice chairman of the committee, Tafanelli said he brought the bill up at Steineger's request.

Tafanelli said he didn't support the measure at this point, but looked forward to learning more about it.

KU officials say selling the hospital would kill KU's attempts to be designated as a national cancer center.

"What happens is the investment you expect an academic hospital to make in its medical school and its programs goes instead to the shareholders of the company," said Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor of the KU Medical Center.

Steineger has said perhaps the hospital could be sold to a nonprofit entity, but Atkinson said that was doubtful.

Doctors also have weighed in against any potential sale, saying a private hospital would be less likely to support the current level of charity care, teaching and research at KU Hospital.


leftylucky 11 years ago

Why don't they try selling the capitol building. The hospital does provide a service to the people of Kansas, and surrounding states. There was quite a bit of money set aside to repair the capitol building. The hospital has provided a greater service than the state legislature.

ed 11 years ago

Are there any top medical centers in the US that work with privately owned hospitals? If so, how has the medical center at these hospitals performed? Answering this question will help us answer questions about KU Hospital.

oldgoof 11 years ago

Ed: since the only topic you have ever posted on is this KU Hospital issue, presumably you are involved, and have opinions and knowledge. So don't be coy and tell us your point.

Sean Livingstone 11 years ago

One big question, selling KU hospital doesn't solve the problem. The problem is fund mis-management, which inflitrates through the government.

Michael Throop 11 years ago

to answer the questions about public-private partnerships, the University of Minnesota Hospital System works hand-in-glove with Fairview, in fact,Fairview runs the operations and the U handles the academic side.

ed 11 years ago

Old Goof-

You are pretty sharp. The reason I have gotten into this entire issue is because my wife works at KU Hospital. She is just a resident, and we'll probably be moving to another city for her fellowship, so this whole thing really won't affect her in the long term anyway. I have no other affiliation with KUMC or KU Hospital, or the medical world in general. So I am indirectly affiliated, but really with nothing to gain. I just can't stand to let the wrong things happen (in my personal opinion).

The reason why I asked whether a private hospital and a public university could work together is because I didn't know the answer to the question. No alterior motives.

I think that KUMC should be allowed to affiliate with St. Luke's. You can see from my posts why I believe this is the case. Read the bottom of this link for some facts:

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