Archive for Friday, March 9, 2007

Legislators want assurance Kansas won’t lose medical residents in hospital deal

March 9, 2007


TOPEKA (AP) - The University of Kansas medical school would have to guarantee that its proposed affiliation with a for-profit, Missouri-based hospital system won't reduce the number of medical residents at the University of Kansas Hospital under a measure added to the proposed state budget Friday.

The House Appropriations Committee added language to the proposed budget that would also require the medical school to guarantee that its program in Wichita wouldn't lose residents. Also, the medical school would have to complete a study by Dec. 1 on how any affiliation affects the number of primary care physicians in Kansas.

A separate provision would require the medical school to explore potential affiliations with the Via Christi and Wesley hospital systems in Wichita.

The University of Kansas Medical Center, which includes the school, and University of Kansas Hospital are in negotiations as part of a plan to affiliate with Kansas City, Mo.-based St. Luke's Health System for teaching and research purposes.

The University of Kansas Hospital has been a separate entity from the medical school since 1998 but is still the school's primary teaching hospital and is on the same campus in Kansas City, Kan. It has opposed the affiliation because St. Luke's is one of its major competitors.

Reb. Bob Bethell, R-Alden, who proposed the amendment dealing with Via Christi and Wesley, said he is concerned the affiliation could take residents away from the school's Wichita program or reduce the number of doctors practicing in western Kansas.

"I want to make sure they understand that we want a discussion on that," Bethell said.

Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor of the medical center, said Thursday that talks with St. Luke's have been suspended until issues with the University of Kansas Hospital can be resolved. A March 31 deadline had been set to settle the matter.


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