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I've read the stories about Kansas University Medical Center and KU Hospital and their affiliation, but I don't understand why they need an affiliation. Aren't they the same thing?

No, actually, they're not. In 1998, KU Hospital split from the state university system in order to compete better in the Kansas City market and also to eliminate the hospital's dependence on the state appropriation system. While owned by the state, the hospital operates separate from KU Medical Center. The medical center, on the other hand, is still part of the state university system. It comprises KU's schools of medicine, nursing and allied health. While the medical center and hospital do share a campus, they legally are separate entities.

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