DETROIT – After last week's news about Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) ending a decades-long program, the university announced Monday that it won't be cutting ties with DMC just yet.
The university has agreed to a six-month extension of their existing contract with DMC.
"Today I am pleased to inform you that the Wayne State University Physician Group (WSUPG) and the DMC have agreed to a six-month extension of their existing contract," reads a letter from university President M. Roy Wilson. "They will dedicate the initial 90 days of this extension to exploring a new working model for the two institutions. If successful, this new framework will be implemented during the succeeding 90-day period. If they are unable to reach an agreement on a new path forward, they will use the second 90-day period to transition coverage of selected services."
Wilson said a Joint Advisory Committee will be appointed to work on issues of "mutual significance" and will include representation of WSUPG department chairs and DMC leadership.
"We are confident that this group will be able to reach a consensus that is in the best interests of our patients, our students and our community," the president writes.
Tenet Healthcare, along with Wayne State, has been in negotiations to extend a contract to keep doctors with the Wayne State University's physician group treating the patients at all DMC hospitals. Last Wednesday afternoon Wilson sent a letter to medical students, saying the end of the relationship with DMC came as a surprise and a disappointment.
"Unwinding a partnership that has endured for decades is a complex undertaking and may take several years of hard work," Wilson wrote. "We will do all we can to ensure patient care is uninterrupted."
Detroit Medical Center CEO Anthony Tedeschi said it was about patient care in negotiations that prompted the DMC to initially cut the deal.
Tedeschi said the Wayne State school of medicine's letter "sought to use a threat to patient care as leverage in what had been a collaborative negotiation between longstanding partners. (DMC) will begin immediately looking for a new long-term academic partner."
But now, just days later, the two parties appear to be on track to reaching a new agreement as they extend their current contract for 6 more months. A joint news release states the "14-member Joint Advisory Committee comprised of DMC and WSUPG leaders will work to develop a new model for the delivery of clinical and administrative services to DMC by WSUPG physicians, and for collaboration on the strategic development of hospital and clinic services."
“For decades, Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University School of Medicine have worked together to provide top-notch medical care for Detroit residents and state-of-the art training and research opportunities for the School of Medicine,” said Anthony Tedeschi, M.D., chief executive officer of DMC. “Our relationship over the years has impacted thousands of physicians and patients, and based upon my discussions with Dean Sobel over the past week, I am hopeful about the possibility that we can continue our partnership in delivering excellent care to patients and growing our respective institutions.”