TULSA, Okla.Ardent Health Services, Nashville, last month terminated the academic affiliation agreement between one of its Tulsa hospitals and the 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, 212-bed 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.
LEXINGTON, KY.St. Joseph HealthCare broke ground on a new $60 million womens services facility. The 60,000-square-foot facility at the hospital systems 116-bed St. Joseph Hospital East location will have the capacity for 3,000 deliveries a year and includes labor rooms, a nursery and a 16-bed neonatal intensive-care unit, officials said in a news release. The hospital expects construction to be completed in 2009. The number of deliveries at St. Joseph East has grown from 400 to nearly 2,000 annually over the past eight years, said Eugene Woods, president and chief executive officer of the healthcare system, in a written statement. This new facility will allow more mothers to choose St. Joseph East as their womens facility that will offer the latest in care. The womens center will be connected by a pedestrian walkway to the existing hospital, which also is scheduled for an upgrade, including more catheterization laboratories in the hospitals heart institute and a new digestive-disease center.
CENTER, TexasTenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, said it has agreed to sell 46-bed Shelby Regional Medical Center, Center, to Shelby Medical Holdings, owned by physician Tariq Mahmood, for $2 million. Mahmood, an internist, operates three hospitals in central Texas. The sale is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, pending regulatory approvals. Tenet acquired the hospital in 2000 for $2.7 million in the bankruptcy case filed by New American Healthcare Corp., Brentwood, Tenn.
OLNEY, Md.Montgomery General Hospital said earlier this month that it agreed to a partnership by years end with MedStar Health, Washington. The deal is pending state approval. Montgomery General chose MedStar over a bid from 417-bed Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. In partnering with the larger MedStar system, the 87-year-old independent Montgomery General is mirroring a broader trend seen across Maryland and other states that have experienced pockets of large population increases. Last year, two-hospital Shore Health System, Easton, Md., merged with six-hospital University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore, in part as a way to share services and staff. Were a strong, solo community hospital, but without the size of a system like MedStar we can get diverted from our strategic path easier than if we were a part of a larger system, said Lynne Myers, vice president of corporate strategy and professional services at 144-bed Montgomery General. The deal would also include Montgomery General Hospital Community Health, the hospitals home-health component, and its Montgomery General Hospital Health Foundation. Montgomery General has filed for a certificate-of-need exemption with the states health board, which would allow the partnership to move forward. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
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