Jackson-FIU agreement delayed
By Lou Ortiz
The Miami-Dade County Jackson Health System and Florida International University Wertheim College of Medicine have hammered out a new annual operating agreement totaling $3.5 million.
On Monday, the 2012-13 operating agreement was on the agenda for approval before the Public Health Trust Financial Recovery Board but was temporarily deferred.
Board member Stephen S. Nuell said there "are some minor issues" with the agreement. But mostly it is "hunky-dory," he said, adding that the agreement would come back before the board in October.
Dr. John A. Rock, dean of the medical school, told the board 280 students are now in the school. The school hopes to bring that number to 480 over the next two years, he said, and its first class will graduate next year.
The FIU medical school was created by the Florida Legislature in 2006. In 2007, FIU and the Public Health Trust signed an affiliation agreement, effective January 2007 through 2017. Basically, Jackson North serves as the location for the training of FIU medical students.
"The agreement calls for an annual operating agreement that specifies the names of department chairs, division directors and other physicians and personnel who will deliver health care services as agents of the trust, the services to be provided and the compensation to be paid by the Public Health Trust for such services," documents show.
Last year, the trust approved an operating agreement totaling $3.6 million. The total amount for 2012-13 is expected to be $3.52 million.
"This year the amount requested is $3.5 million which represents a 3% reduction," documents show. "The funds will be used to support medical leadership and clinical services provided by the physicians at Jackson North Medical Center and support operations of the practices which are staffed by [FIU medical school] physicians."
"Out of the $3.5 million requested, $2.7 million is for medical leadership and clinical services at [Jackson North] and approximately $754,547 will be used to support the operations of the clinics," according to county documents.
"FIU has recruited and will continue recruiting full-time and part-time faculty members who
will practice at [Jackson North], providing medical staff leadership, and clinical services," documents show. "Collection of fees generated by the FIU… physicians at [Jackson North] are retained by the Public Health Trust to help offset the funding provided by the" trust for FIU physicians.
FIU medical students rotate through the emergency room, obstetrical and nenonatal, and geratric psychiartry units.
"The students consistently identify these rotations as amongst the best as compared to rotations at other facilities as it relates to teaching and a learning environment," documents show. "FIU brings… high quality, nationally recognized physicians who are committed to" Jackson North.
According to county documents, "The image of [Jackson North] continues to improve in terms of quality and choice for medical destination for patients becaue of the role and responsiblities these physicans assume in the areas of medical leadership and provision of clinical services."
FIU officials say they want to focus on improving the profitability of the training practice at Jackson North, according to a meeting between FIU and Financial Recovery Board members this month.
Since 2010, documents show, the strategic planning process between FIU and Jackson has been to "determine opportunities for joint program development and service line expansion to meet community needs."
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