Historic Partnership Designed to Increase Access to Quality Healthcare

September 07, 2016

Kansas City, Kan./Hays, Kan. — The University of Kansas Hospital and Hays Medical Center (HaysMed) announced a Letter of Intent has been signed for a partnership to improve access to patient care and extend the commitment of high quality care shared by both hospitals throughout the state of Kansas.

Leaders of HaysMed and The University of Kansas Hospital say they share a long-term vision to enhance and extend comprehensive, high-quality, cost-efficient healthcare in a not-for-profit setting for Kansans and to transform healthcare delivery throughout Kansas.

The two organizations will work through the partnership details this fall, and will plan on implementation of the partnership early next year.

John Jeter, MD, will continue as the CEO of Hays Medical Center, and Bob Page will continue as president and CEO of The University of Kansas Hospital. Staff will continue to be employed by their current organizations.

The Hays Medical Center Board of Directors will remain in place as will The University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board. A new operations council, made up of members from both organizations, will be formed and tasked with directing the partnership.

Both organizations are currently in solid financial and operating condition and are coming together at a time of strength for each.

"This partnership will be focused on improving the health of Kansans," says Page. "The University of Kansas Hospital has a responsibility to the entire state, just as Hays Medical Center has been a leader in providing quality care to western Kansas."

Dr. Jeter notes, "This partnership is about improving clinical care, the patient experience and the value of our services to patients."

Dr. Jeter says it is difficult for a hospital to remain independent, even one like HaysMed which provides many unique services to western Kansas. "By partnering with The University of Kansas Hospital, the state's only academic medical center, I believe we will see leading edge medical developments come to our patients more quickly," predicts Dr. Jeter.

Both Dr. Jeter and Page say the partnership will identify opportunities for collaboration between both organizations to enhance care quality throughout western Kansas. The leaders say the two organizations will be able to provide more care options to a greater number of patients.

"We know The University of Kansas Hospital serves patients locally, regionally and nationally. This marks a step for both organizations to move into a health system structure. Over time, we will look at other partnerships across Kansas, into Missouri and even other neighboring states," adds Page.

Page notes the partnership will enhance local care for patients in western Kansas, and provide more seamless access to complex care. The University of Kansas Hospital accepted over 1,100 high acuity transfer patients (a 17% increase from FY15) from all around the region last year because they needed a level of care that isn't readily available within their community hospitals.

This announcement comes after several years of discussion about how the two hospitals could collaborate. Dr. Jeter and Page note the two hospitals have worked together successfully on patient care for years. Both hospitals are very involved in the successful Kansas Heart and Stroke Collaborative, established through a major federal award to The University of Kansas Hospital, which worked with HaysMed and critical access hospitals to improve patient outcomes for heart and stroke patients in western Kansas.

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