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A strategy for coping with change: an affiliation between a medical school and a managed care health system

Stevens, D P; Leach, D C; Warden, G L; Cherniack, N S

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Abstract

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWRU), a private research-focused medical school, and Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), an integrated health system with a preponderance of managed care, have established a formal, broad affiliation that includes substantial commitments that bind the two organizations. Among them are formal full-time faculty appointments at CWRU for qualified professional staff of HFHS, designation of an associate dean for CWRU at HFHS, election of HFHS faculty to key medical school committees such as admission, curriculum, and promotions and tenure, and the commitment of funds to the affiliation by both organizations: a grant from HFHS to CWRU for curriculum development, and investment from CWRU to HFHS. The alliance of two such organizations is made complex by a number of issues. They include differences of institutional cultures as well as traditional issues in academic health centers such as departmental authority over curriculum and faculty appointments, competition for academic preeminence, and competition among hospitals for patients. The affiliation was facilitated by shared commitments to education, agreement on the need to adapt student education to the emerging managed care environment, a shared commitment to health services research, investment in the concept that learners add value to a health care delivery setting, and the desire to develop graduates with knowledge of practice in managed care. The authors conclude that medical schools and integrated managed care health systems gain sufficiently from such an affiliation that the investment of time, effort, and resources is readily justified.

(C) 1996 Association of American Medical Colleges

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