Jackson, UM reach operating agreement

After months of negotiations, Jackson Health System and the University of Miami reached an operating agreement for 2013-14.

On Thursday, the Public Health Trust, which oversees Jackson, conditionally approved the agreement for $102.5 million, subject to a legal review of its fair market value. It’s the lowest-budgeted agreement in seven years.

Jackson and UM’s Miller School of Medicine have worked together in an arrangement that goes back at least 50 years. In this agreement, a binding letter of intent commits them to multi-year exclusivity provisions for transplant, trauma, pediatrics and obstetrics services.

“We’re the No. 1 hospital because of UM. The agreement ensures these services will continue to be here in those areas that are most important to our market,” said Jeff Crudele, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Jackson.

But for Jackson, the win in the agreement is the cost of those services, Crudele said. The new operating budget is significantly lower than the last year’s, at $121.1 million, and well below the 2008 high of $138.8 million.

Over 60 percent is allocated to pay for transplant and other key services that UM will exclusively provide, as well as clinical instruction and other educational support for medical residents and fellows.

“We’re getting very good at working together to find the efficiencies,” Crudele said.

Board member Marcos Lapciuc, who cast the only dissenting vote, has long fought for Jackson to outsource some physician services. “While my issues with some of the services are well known, I feel very comfortable with the transplant, trauma and other aspects of the agreement with UM doctors who’ve been very loyal to UM,” he said.

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