Ex-CHS hospital may end residency program funding after 25 years

Officials at Yakima, Wash.-based Astria Regional Medical Center — previously Yakima Regional — said the hospital may end funding for its residency programs by June 30, 2019, according to the Yakima Herald.

Here are five things to know:

1. Hospital officials reportedly sent a letter in October to the Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program. However, discussions between Astria Regional and Community Health of Central Washington, which sponsors the residency program, are ongoing, the report states.

2. Astria Regional split the cost of the program with Yakima-based Virginia Mason Memorial. If Astria Regional decides to pull its funding, the program — which currently holds 18 residents — will be forced to reduce the number of annual recruits from 10 residents to seven. Within three years, the program will drop from 30 residents to 21.

3. While the hospital's financial contributions are undecided, Astria Regional will maintain an educational relationship with the residency program, though "the involvement of residents [at the hospital] would be greatly diminished," according to the report.

4. A spokesperson from Sunnyside, Wash.-based Astria Health, the parent company of Astria Regional Medical Center, told the Yakima Herald the hospital "is still in discussions with CWFM regarding the current residency program, which was entered into by the hospital's prior owner. It would not be appropriate to comment at this time." Astria Health, previously branded as Regional Health, purchased Astria Regional Medical Center and several other facilities from Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems in 2017.

5. The program is expected to begin making decisions on the next class of residents in February.

To access the full report, click here.

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