Banko: It's not just about dollars: UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Banko: It's not just about dollars: UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Banko
  • St. Vincent CEO Peter Banko

St. Vincent Health CEO Peter Banko said in an interview today that the decision to affiliate with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will not be made on savings alone — the $38 million to $63 million estimated by a Deloitte Consulting study isn’t so great that it’s a deal-maker — but also on the ability of the third-party affiliated entity to expand.

Banko insisted that he did not know if the affiliation will go forward because he hasn’t seen the term sheet — the first draft of how the affiliation would work — that is being drawn up by UAMS’ independent legal team. He said the term sheet should be ready next week; the St. Vincent board of directors and Banko’s leadership team will review it and both entities will create a business plan for going forward.

But if sources are correct, Banko is sure enough that he has asked orthopedic surgeons who are not affiliated with either institution to come on board. I have left a message with Banko's office for comment on the information. UPDATE: Banko confirms having dinner with orthopedic surgeons a couple of weeks ago, but said they were with Arkansas Specialty Orthopedics, which partners with St. Vincent, and not unaffiliated doctors.

Banko and board member Baker Kurrus expressed frustration with the Arkansas Times today for its coverage of the hospitals’ efforts to combine services, with Banko calling the Times “anti-Catholic” for continuing to raise concerns about the conflict in the Catholic Directives on women’s health care and end of life issues with public hospital policy for both patients and employees. He said the hospitals' agreement to explore an affiliation spelled out that no change to women's health services would be made.

The Times does not believe that raising concerns about the affiliation is anti-Catholic. Until the term sheet spells out exactly how the affiliation is to be governed — will the newly created board be split 50-50, as a memo sent to UAMS employees said or will St. Vincent have the upper hand? — how can the hospitals promise that there will be no reduction in services that the Catholic Directives prohibit? Catholic Church leaders have raised objections to a variety of combinations of institutions in other cities when institutions that joined with Catholic hospitals intended to provide medical services disapproved on religious grounds.

(A side note from Max: As yet, no church official has said how the church might react to a blended Little Rock institution, jointly governed, that included a public affiliate offering services to patients or employees which the church does not approve — birth control pills, abortion, in vitro fertilization, patient directives on end of life decisions, tubal ligations, vasectomies, morning after pill dispensation to rape victims in emergency rooms, abortion training at UAMS and more. I don't think it unfair to raise these questions as long as final answers aren't known. This is particularly true since the deal contemplates state support for a private institution that holds itself exempt from federal law mandating preventive health care coverage, including birth control pills for its employees. Is that good public policy for the state?)

Baker Kurrus said hospitals everywhere must create cooperative ventures to survive cuts in reimbursements from the federal government, and said that, on its face, collaboration between a religious institution and a public one presented no greater constitutional challenge than tax dollars going to faith-based mentoring programs, for example. “There’s no ulterior motive,” he said. "Institutions of this size are going to have to be more efficient," he said, to make sure their "capital is employed properly." It makes no sense for expensive equipment to lie idle at either hospital, for example.

The Federal Trade Commission will have to review the affiliation to make sure its potential market share does not pose an unfair competitive advantage over other hospitals. (Banko said that St. Vincent and UAMS each have about 20 percent market share.) The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees will have to OK any affiliation that UAMS enters into. The bishop of Arkansas will have to approve the Catholic institution’s plans. Banko is not worried about a stay from the church. “We have a good enough relationship,” he said, “that we can each work through anything together.” To not find ways to become more efficient and keep growing would “diminish the Catholic ministry,” he said. Besides, Banko said, “there’s more congruence than meets the eye” between UAMS and St. Vincent, and he noted that Catholic Health Institutes (which owns St. Vincent) partners elsewhere with Lutheran, Jewish and public hospitals.

St. Vincent and UAMS "are neighbors," Banko said, with only a golf course and a stadium separating them, and that a collaboration would "grow education and research," adding that CHI might contribute research dollars to the affiliated entity.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Fayetteville, Fenix and art-making on Saturday

    If you're in Fayetteville this weekend, you can drop in on several workshops being held by the Fenix Fayetteville artists' cooperative at the Walker-Stone House, 207 W. Center St. downtown.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • UALR artist Mia Hall is off to Penland: UPDATE

    The Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina has announced the hiring of Mia Hall, of the Department of Art and Design at UA Little Rock, as its new director.
    • Jul 19, 2017
  • ACLU asks court to enjoin antiabortion bills

    Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union asked Judge Kristine Baker to grant an injunction against four laws passed this year by the General Assembly that would: * Make abortion after 15 weeks riskier by outlawing what the medical profession considers the safest procedure, dilation and evacuation; * Require doctors to inform local police when an abortion performed on a teenager age 14-16 absent any indication of abuse and that police create a record of the teenager's abortion and be provided the fetal remains; * Require abortion providers to ask women seeking an abortion if they know the sex of the fetus, and, if they do, obtain all of their previous obstetrical records to determine if they have a "history of aborting fetuses" of a certain sex, as the lawyer for the state said today in court. * Require notification of a woman's partner — or abuser — that she intends to have an abortion, ostensibly so they can agree on the disposition of the remains of the fetus.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back.
    • Mar 10, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation