Wayne State reexamines relationship with physician group after CEO departure

In her final days as dean of Detriot-based Wayne State Medical School last month, Valerie Parisi, MD, fired the university physician group's CEO for unspecified reasons, as the university continues to assess its faculty practice plan, according to Crain's Detroit Business.

WSU President M. Roy Wilson, MD, told Crain's that Dr. Parisi did not classify the CEO's involuntary departure as a firing, but the CEO was not told about the decision in advance. Dr. Parisi will be taking a faculty leadership development job at the University of South Florida in Tampa, effective next June.

University Physician Group's former CEO, Robert Frank, MD, was at odds with some medical school faculty and university officials over his ideas to hold physicians accountable for performance and his efforts to make the 2,000-physician practice more independent from the university, according to the report.

Dr. Frank was pressing the UPG board to make bylaw changes this year.

"The changes were going to be in the opposite direction of what Roy wanted, and they were close to being approved before (Frank) was terminated," an anonymous source knowledgeable about the UPG board told Crain's.

Dr. Wilson was also concerned UPG had lost key physicians in the past few years and was having trouble recruiting replacements. However, Wayne State's lower pay scale and Detroit's inner-city reputation are important factors in recruitment issues, according to sources in the report.

The university hired Seattle-based ECG Management Consultants earlier this year to evaluate UPG's best practices and to recommend bylaw changes to devise a practice plan more closely affiliated with the university, according to the report.

"We want to look at the relationship other practice plans have with their universities and see if (UPG) is in line with best practices," Dr. Wilson told Crain's.

Proposed bylaw changes will be voted on in January or February next year, according to the report.

 

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