The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has reworked its proposal for an affiliation with St. Vincent Infirmary that would create a new entity for shared services but drop the single management structure. Instead, the collaboration would be managed contractually.
The UA Board of Trustees has been provided the new agreement.
Chancellor Dan Rahn informed UAMS employes of the new proposal with the following message:
Dear UAMS Family,
As part of my efforts to keep you informed on our talks about an affiliation with St. Vincent Health System (SVHS), I’m writing to let you know that we have sent a new proposal to leaders at SVHS for their review. This latest proposal is consistent with our vision in which the Board of Trustees maintains control over all components of UAMS as its governing body. We are seeking a relationship that would increase the value of UAMS to the public, achieve efficiencies and enable us to have a structure through which we could develop a clinically integrated network that meets the goals of health system change in Arkansas. This network would be anchored by UAMS and SVHS and would allow for expansion through alliances with other providers.
Our proposal includes four areas: shared business services, academic and research agreements similar to those we currently have with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Veteran’s Healthcare System, service specific cooperative endeavors, and the creation of a new entity through which an integrated network could be managed. Cooperative services would be governed by contracts between UAMS and SVHS but would not create a single, integrated management structure.
We also have provided this proposal to members of the UA Board of Trustees for their review. If this proposal is agreeable to them and SVHS, we would then proceed to the next step of working together to outline details of an agreement. I will share more information with you as it becomes available.
Thank you for your commitment to excellence and the people we serve.
Dan Rahn, M.D.
St. Vincent was never going to agree to being a 50-50 managing partner with UAMS in the entity that would operate the shared services (like cancer and heart), and Amendment 33 to the Arkansas Constitution does not allow for university boards to transfer its powers to another entity unless the institution is abolished or consolidated with another state institution.
Here's the proposal sent to the Board of Trustees.
The proposal says "unique circumstances create a call to action now," including UAMS telemedicine abilities, the Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative and Medicaid expansion adopted by the General Assembly. The proposal also says that UAMS' curricula needs to address health care models that not now covered and that UAMS must "also expand the scope of our health professions educational programs to meet the health needs of an expanded and aging population." It also maintains that "redundancies" in the health care market that are created by having two hospitals like St. Vincent and UAMS don't make economic sense for either the community or the hospital.