Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hospital, KUMC near deal

March 14, 2007


Kansas University Hospital leaders say they're close to a "broad outline of an agreement" with Kansas University Medical Center in the contentious, ongoing negotiations that will shape the hospital and medical center's future.

Irene Cumming, the hospital's president and CEO, delivered that message Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan., during a briefing to the hospital's board. The deal would include a commitment by KU Hospital to contribute roughly $42 million - a $12 million increase - to the medical center next year for an additional 39.5 residency positions, with the goal of adding 75 more in coming years, KU Hospital spokesman Dennis McCulloch said.

In addition, the two have agreed that the group of outpatient medical clinics associated with the medical school - Kansas University Physicians Inc. - would become aligned with the hospital's physicians in one organization. The arrangement would remove the 415-member physicians' group from the medical school's exclusive control, McCulloch said, and give KU Hospital a voice for the first time in how the clinics are operated.

But at the end of the day, after a three-hour, closed-door negotiating session involving KU Hospital and KUMC, there was no final deal.

"We feel like we are getting close to an agreement with our hospital that will allow us all to move forward," said Amy Jordan Wooden, a spokeswoman for the medical center.

McCulloch said details of the agreement still need to be worked out, including what it means for St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. The medical school's plans to begin an affiliation with St. Luke's have been a sore spot for KU Hospital leaders who fear it will harm them financially and weaken the KU brand.

"The broad outlines of an agreement are close, but the hospital wants to make sure that the details and the direction of these broad outlines and the intent of them are really agreed upon," McCulloch said. "The devil is in the details. It's a broad outline. It's skywriting."

For months, leaders from KU Hospital and KUMC have been negotiating their future relationship. KUMC's leader, Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson, wants to start sending some medical programs to St. Luke's and says KU Hospital isn't contributing enough to the school's academic mission.

Atkinson also said it's necessary for KU to align with St. Luke's if the school is to become a national leader in cancer research.


ksthinker 10 years, 11 months ago

to the contrary. It looks like her testimony got the concessions she needed from the university to reach and agreement.

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