DMC, WSU doctors reach partnership agreement

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News
Dr. Anthony Tedeschi, the DMC chief executive officer

Detroit — The Detroit Medical Center and the Wayne State University Physicians Group signed a tentative agreement to extend their partnership Monday, nearly four months after both threatened to sever a more than 100-year relationship.

Under a memorandum of agreement announced jointly, the health system and university doctors are expected to enter a five-year Clinical and Medical Administrative Services Contract under which the Wayne State University Physicians Groupwould provide medical services at the DMC's seven hospitals and other facilities.

The agreement "is intended to assure access to high-quality health care services while maintaining strong, stable educational and training programs attractive to high-quality medical students, resident physicians and fellows," the groups said in a joint news release Monday.

Medical center CEO, Dr. Anthony Tedeschi, said: “Together over the past three months, the DMC-WSUPG team has built a new Clinical Services model to provide excellent medical care for Detroit residents while maintaining our decades-long relationship in offering world-class clinical training and research opportunities for faculty, medical students and resident physicians." 

In a statement to staff Monday, Tedeschi said the health system and the university's doctors expect to finalize the agreement "over the next few weeks, with a signing planned in late September."

The medical school and the seven-hospital health system have been embroiled in a contentious relationship. In May, they said they were ending their historic partnership but later agreed to continue negotiating. 

A break-up could have triggered tumultuous changes for Metro Detroit’s health care industry, patients and the university’s 300 doctors and medical school, which would have meant seeking new partnerships.

The physician group has a strong affiliation with WSU's School of Medicine, where many of its doctors teach, and which provides medical, administrative and clinical services in DMC hospitals.

In addition to negotiating with the University Physician Group, the DMC and Wayne State University Medical School also have been in talks about the health system's residency program for medical school graduates. Both parties said those discussions still are underway but were not expected to cause disruption for patients or medical residents.  

"This agreement addresses the main concerns of both DMC and UPG,” said Dr. Charles J. Shanley, WSU Physicians Group CEO. “Most importantly, as these discussions continue, there are no changes to the existing academic and administrative agreements, meaning no disruptions for patients, physicians, students, medical residents, staff or the community.”