KU Medical Center affiliation
- Speaker:Keep affiliation proviso for KU in budget (04-29-07)
- Sebeliusvetoes KUMC proviso (04-24-07)
- Budgethas hospital proviso (04-21-07)
- KUMCaffiliationnegotiation deadline extended until May (03-31-07)
- Sebelius:Nolegislative interference (03-31-07)
- Inpatientcare at KU outranks clinic care (03-17-07)
- Houselifts funding threat from KUMC (03-16-07)
Topeka The Legislature will consider a proposal today that supporters say is meant to help feuding Kansas University Medical Center and KU Hospital reach an agreement before the medical center can negotiate an affiliation with Kansas City, Mo.-based St. Luke's Hospital.
The measure is in the form of an addition to the final state budget that will be voted on by the House and Senate as the Legislature nears the end of its wrap-up session.
"The proviso that has passed into this budget says KU Hospital and KU Med must work expeditiously until we get this thing solved," the proposal's author, state Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-Kansas City, said Tuesday. "It puts them both on a level playing field."
The proposal also reflects a months-long controversy that has played out before the Legislature.
KUMC has proposed an affiliation with St. Luke's, saying the deal will improve medical research and health care in Kansas and Missouri, and help KUMC attain designation as a national cancer center.
But KU Hospital, which competes with St. Luke's, has said the affiliation will hurt it, and many lawmakers have said they fear KUMC's move toward St. Luke's will reduce the number of physicians in Kansas.
Burroughs' provision says KUMC and KU Hospital must reach an agreement before the medical center can affiliate with St. Luke's.
"In Wyandotte County, we understand the significance KU Hospital has in our community, but we also understand the value of the potential research that could come from KU Med Center's affiliations. We'd like to see those two get their issues resolved," Burroughs said.
Earlier in the session, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed a budget proviso that would have given KU Hospital final say over any affiliation between KUMC and St. Luke's. She said the Legislature shouldn't interfere with the medical center's negotiations.
Then, Burroughs had his language attached to the final budget bill. His measure also would have required that KU Hospital be named the lead hospital if KU gained national cancer center designation. But a House-Senate conference committee dropped that part of the proviso.
Sen. Dwayne Umbarger, R-Thayer, the Senate's chief budget negotiator, said he agreed to accept part of Burroughs' proviso in order to reach a compromise with the House.
"That was the position we had to accept to move the process and get the conference committee off of dead center," Umbarger said. "You don't get everything you want and they didn't get everything they want, and that is the art of compromise in the legislative process."