UK HealthCare, Cincinnati Children's Hospital finalize agreement for pediatric heart surgery

Lexington, Ky.-based UK HealthCare and Cincinnati Children's Hospital have finalized an agreement that will steer some pediatric heart surgeries to the University of Kentucky, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

The two health systems signed a letter of intent in September that detailed a proposal to hire a heart surgeon whose primary appointment would be at Cincinnati Children's but be based at the Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington, according to the report.

Under the agreement, UK HealthCare would provide some pediatric heart surgeries after a nearly four-year absence. UK suspended its pediatric cardiac surgery program in 2012 after the system saw a rise in mortality rates. Mark Plunkett, MD, the program's chief surgeon, left the system in 2013 with a $1 million settlement, according to the report.

The first surgical procedure at UK under the new agreement is expected to take place in late 2016 or early 2017, according to the report.

The pediatric cardiac surgery program director will be based in Lexington and serve as a liaison for both systems. The director will be employed by UK HealthCare and report to UK HealthCare's CMO as well as the leadership team at Cincinnati Children's Heart Institute, according to the report.

The health system also aims to have cardiac subspecialists perform diagnostic and therapeutic interventions at Kentucky Children's Hospital with the support of Cincinnati Children's clinicians.

More articles on clinical affiliations:
St. Luke's Hospital teams up with Cleveland Clinic for heart care
BIDMC, Harvard Medical physicians, MetroWest Medical Center affiliate: 6 things to know
Integris joins Mayo Clinic Care Network

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