Wayne State medical group to Detroit Medical Center: Finalize contract by May 15 or partnership is dissolved

Six months after finalizing a contract extension, Troy, Mich.-based Wayne State University Physician Group reportedly gave Detroit Medical Center officials an ultimatum to finalize the details of their contract by May 15 or risk terminating their agreement, according to The Detroit News.

WSU School of Medicine Dean Jack Sobel, MD, discussed the ultimatum in an April 19 letter to DMC CEO Tony Tedeschi, MD, obtained by The Detroit News.

"I am re-confirming our agreement to extend (for the second time) the contract negotiations for administrative and clinical professional services with the Detroit Medical Center/Tenet two weeks beyond the latest deadline of April 30, 2018. If the negotiations and contract are not finalized by midnight May 15, 2018, elective and non-emergent clinical services provided by UPG will cease to be provided," Dr. Sobel wrote.

Dr. Tedeschi responded to the negotiations in his own letter, stating the ultimatum constituted an "explicit threat to the Detroit Medical Center's ability to deliver critical healthcare services to patients in Detroit" and said terminating the agreement may "leave DMC without critical services," according to the report.

"With this threat, DMC now finds itself in the position to explore alternative plans so that we can continue providing critical care to our patients uninterrupted," Dr. Tedeschi wrote.

Negotiations between the two organizations began last July, according to The Detroit News. DMC has previously said it wants the hospital, not Wayne State University, to become the official employer of WSU Physician Group. However, the physician group wants their alliance structured as an academic partnership.

In an April 20 memo obtained by The Detroit News, Dr. Tedeschi cited "fundamental challenges in the relationship," especially the "lack of external research funding" for WSU and the physician group's "consistent disparagement of DMC publicly," the report states.

Despite tense negotiations, a spokesperson for WSU told The Detroit News the organization is "working very hard on negotiations."

"We will do what we need to do to make sure that patients are taken care of," the spokesperson said. "Patients are our top priority, but we also need to reach an agreement."

To access the full report, click here.

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