- Associated Press - Thursday, May 3, 2018

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Medical Center is severing a nearly century-old partnership with Wayne State University’s medical school.

The health care provider announced Wednesday it will not renew its longstanding contract with the nonprofit Wayne State University Physician Group. The nonprofit employs nearly 300 doctors who teach and conduct research at the university while providing specialty care at the medical center’s hospitals, which are owned by Dallas-based Tenet HealthCare.

The physician group’s contract is set to expire after May 15. The two institutions have had a strained relationship for years over disagreements on finances and contracts.

The decision came as a surprise to the physician group because the entities were making progress with contract negotiations, said Dr. Charles Shanley, president and CEO of the group.

Shanley said he didn’t know why the health provider decided to dissolve the partnership.

“It is a pretty big move to sever your relationship with the faculty of a medical school,” Shanley said.

Wayne State has separate contracts with the medical center for the university’s residency programs and undergraduate medical education, Shanley said. Those contracts are still in effect but could later be at risk, he said.

“Although there has been disruption between schools of medicine and teaching hospitals in the past, this is unusual and seems abrupt,” said Dr. Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer with the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The decision could lead to disruption in patients’ care, she said.

Detroit Medical Center CEO Dr. Anthony Tedeschi said the hospital is looking for a new long-term academic partner. He hopes the center and Wayne State can work together to minimize disruption to the community and physicians, Tedeschi said.

Wayne State University President Dr. M. Roy Wilson said physicians will continue to have their salaries paid and benefits covered through the transition.

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