Hahnemann RNs decry $55M bid for physician residency program


The union representing 800 registered nurses at Philadelphia-based Hahnemann University Hospital is condemning a coalition's recent $55 million bid for the hospital's more than 550 residency slots.

The hospital announced July 10 plans to transfer most of Hahnemann's residency and fellowship programs to West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health. However, Einstein Healthcare Network, Jefferson Health and Temple University Health System, all in Philadelphia, teamed up with Bryn Mawr, Pa.-based Main Line Health, Camden, N.J.-based Cooper University Health Care and Wilmington, Del.-based Christiana Care Health System to place the $55 million winning bid for Hahnemann's residency slots.

"We've accepted large numbers of patients and current residents. Now, we want to ensure that the training positions remain in our region for the years to come. Our bid was motivated by the need to keep those positions permanently here in the tri-state area," Stephen K. Klasko, president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, told TV station WHYY Aug. 9. 

The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals denounced the coalition's efforts, claiming that the six health systems are trying to profit from the closure of Hahnemann.

Lisa Leshinski, executive director of the union, argued that funding for the hospital's physician residency slots comes from the federal government, and since the funding is tied to the hospital, a hospital that is not affiliated with Hahnemann cannot under law employ Hahnemann residents and receive their funding.

CMS also has objected, according to WHYY.

In a court filing cited by the station, U.S. Justice Department attorney Marc Sacks said, "Hahnemann's provider agreement terminates with its closure, making it ineligible to be transferred."

The union urged the federal government to maintain its objection.


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