Today, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and state Representatives Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo), Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and Mike Sheehy (D-Oregon) authored a letter urging the University of Toledo Board of Trustees to revisit the academic affiliation agreement between the University of Toledo Medical Center and ProMedica and halt the transfer of UTMC’s services to ProMedica.
“Many UTMC physicians have long argued that one essential step toward improving the University of Toledo Medical Center’s finances is preserving key services provided by its physicians and students,” the letter says. “These services, however, are threatened by on-going efforts to transfer all physician teachers and learners in Critical Care, Hematology/Oncology, and Orthopedic services to the ProMedica Toledo Hospital by July 1.”
Their letter comes on the heels of ProMedica’s announcement Wednesday evening of its plans to take over the operations of UTMC. This bid comes during year five of the academic affiliation agreement between ProMedica and the University of Toledo. The agreement was initiated as a way to improve the university’s finances and help advance the College of Medicine and Life Sciences’s academic mission, which has never come to fruition. However, the legislators point to the Academic Affiliation Operating Group’s (AAOG) decisions to transfer profitable services from UTMC to ProMedica, which has resulted in further harm to the university’s finances.
In the letter, the legislators cited a 2015 statement from then-Attorney General Mike DeWine, which expressed support for the agreement but urged further action in the event that “the proposed affiliation prove to be anticompetitive in purpose or effect.” While Attorney General Dave Yost is now examining the last five years of the agreement to determine potential anti-trust concerns, the legislators urged the board of trustees to halt all transfer of services and to protect tax payers and the public asset.
“If finalized, these relocations would further harm UTMC’s finances and the university’s academic mission,” the letter says. “It is the duty of the board to reconsider the academic affiliation agreement and pursue a solution that best serves the university, as well as the interests of the Northwest Ohio region.”
A copy of the letter can be found here