Tenet, Detroit Medical Center to sever ties with 300 physicians

Detroit Medical Center, part of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, will end its longtime affiliation with Troy, Mich.-based Wayne State University Physician Group on May 15 when the current contract for clinical and administrative services expires.

In a letter to university colleagues May 2, Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson, MD, said he was informed by Tenet that it intends to terminate Detroit Medical Center's affiliation with Wayne State, beginning with the physician group's contract, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The decision to terminate the contract, which covers about 300 physicians who provide care in DMC hospitals and clinics, comes after tensions have flared between the two parties for months.

In April, about six months after finalizing a contract extension, the physician group sent a letter to DMC officials threatening to terminate their partnership with DMC if a contract was not finalized by May 15. The ultimatum prompted DMC to begin exploring other options, according to Detroit Medical Center CEO Anthony Tedeschi, MD.

"Wayne State University School of Medicine's letter sought to use a threat to patient care as leverage in what had been a collaborative negotiation between long-standing partners and set in motion steps to establish alternatives to WSUSOM and to forge a new future that will provide a stable long-term environment for our patients, physicians, students, interns, residents and fellows," Dr. Tedeschi said in a news release issued May 2.

DMC and Wayne State have separate contracts in place for Wayne State's residency programs and undergraduate medical education, and those contracts are still in effect, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Dr. Tedeschi said DMC will immediately begin searching for a new long-term academic partner. "We hope to work with WSUSOM to minimize disruption to the community and to our valued physicians," he said.

Wayne State University Physician Group President and CEO Charles Shanley, MD, told the Detroit Free Press he was under the impression negotiations with DMC had been making progress, and he did not know why the hospital decided to end the contract.

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