Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State to cut ties, DMC CEO says

DMC, Wayne State end long partnership

Detroit Medical Center (WDIV)
Detroit Medical Center (WDIV)

DETROIT – The Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University School of Medicine are cutting ties after a long partnership.

Detroit Medical Center CEO Anthony Tedeschi released the following statement Wednesday:

For decades, Detroit Medical Center has worked towards having a collaborative relationship with Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) to provide top-notch medical care for Detroit residents and a state-of-the-art training and research facility for medical students, interns, residents and fellows.

“The letter received on April 19, 2018, from WSUSOM leadership threatening to end clinical services coverage and administrative leadership for clinical programs at the DMC forced us on a path to protect access to care for our patients and seek alternative partnerships to sustain a world-class academic health care system in Detroit.

“While we work collaboratively with the talented physicians at WSUSOM every day to provide excellent care to our patients and an outstanding experience for the medical students, interns, residents and fellows, our relationship with WSUSOM leadership has become acrimonious, driven by WSUSOM leadership’s transactional approach to discussions with the DMC and their lack of transparency about competing commitments. WSUSOM’s letter sought to use a threat to patient care as leverage in what had been a collaborative negotiation between longstanding 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.

“DMC will do what is necessary to continue to provide excellent care for Detroit’s children and adults and will begin immediately looking for a new long-term academic partner for DMC. We hope to work with WSUSOM to minimize disruption to the community and to our valued physicians.  We remain committed to ensuring that the residents of Detroit and the region have access to world-class specialized medical care in a leading academic health care system with outstanding clinical care, education and research.”

Here is a letter from WSU President M. Roy Wilson sent to colleagues about the relationship:

"I am writing to inform you that despite making steady progress toward a new long-term agreement, Tenet Healthcare Corp. management in Dallas communicated to me that it has decided to end contract negotiations and dissolve the decades-long relationship between the Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University, beginning with the Wayne State University Physician Group (WSUPG).

"This came as a surprise to Wayne State and WSUPG, as we were working toward a mutually beneficial, long-term contract that would allow Tenet to continue meeting its financial goals while allowing WSU to develop additional partnerships with health care entities that share the vision of creating a cutting-edge academic health sciences center. This outcome would have served the goals of both entities and ensured the continuity of Wayne State and WSUPG physicians’ presence on the DMC campus.

"We are disappointed with this outcome, but we have offered to work with Tenet to ensure a smooth transition. Unwinding a partnership that has endured for decades is a complex undertaking and may take several years of hard work.

"Our highest priorities in this transition are patients, students and physicians. We will do all we can to ensure patient care is uninterrupted, and we will provide all reasonable assistance toward a safe and smooth transition to alternative providers as that is Tenet’s desire and intent.

"Medical students and residents can be assured that their education will not be affected. The existing contracts that govern residency programs and undergraduate medical education ensure that: a) current residencies are taught to completion and graduation, and b) current undergraduate medical students will complete the hospital portion of their education without interruption. In addition, we have many undergraduate teaching sites, and others in development. We are confident that these expanded opportunities will translate into an even greater educational experience for our medical students. The education of physicians is our primary mission; we will never compromise that mission.

"Our physicians should also know that we will ensure continuity of their salaries and benefits as we navigate through this transition.

"This is complicated, but the bottom line in this situation is that we are guided by our mission, our integrity and our core values. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can tell you that I am confident in our leadership, our doctors, our researchers and our educators. We will continue moving forward toward our vision of building a health care delivery and education model that is foundational and transformational."

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