Ardent Health Services, Nashville, has terminated the academic affiliation agreement between one of its Tulsa, Okla., hospitals and Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Ardent and OSU have been battling over $6.5 million in indirect medical education, or IME, funds.
Ardent contends in a news release that the funds should offset the costs of the teaching program, which it said reached $13 million over the past year. This year marked the first time that the states Medicaid agency diverted the state-federal IME funds to the university rather than the hospital, OSU Medical Center, Ardent said.
The university is willing to spend the money in the same ways that Ardent and OSU have agreed to spend such funds, said James Hess, chief operating officer of the OSU Health Sciences Center and vice president for healthcare administration. IME funds are more flexible than graduate medical education funds and can be used on capital projects that further the residency program, Hess said. For example, the hospitals intensive-care unit was renovated with such funds, he said.
Ardent and OSU signed the 50-year affiliation agreement in May 2006. The agreement requires the program to be maintained for two years after a notice of termination. -- by Vince Galloro
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