Healthcare Roundup—Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State med school partnership in peril


Hospital, university partnership in Michigan imperiled

The Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University plan to partner could be in jeopardy of falling apart, news outlets reported over the weekend.

In September, the organizations jointly announced a planned agreement to collaborate in patient care, research and community health, and expand "an innovative curriculum for the education and training of the next generation of medical and health professionals." 

But the Detroit News reported on Saturday that WSU board members raised serious concerns the deal would force the university to cede the board's control over the school's own medical school to an LLC formed by the new partnership. One board member called the deal "dead in the water." 

On Sunday, the News reported, WSU released a statement the school expects to resume negotiations with Henry Ford after receiving clarified intentions from the Board of Governors. (The Detroit News) 

Court blocks California's attempt to stop sale of hospitals

A federal judge has blocked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra attempts to stop the sale of two hospitals to Santa Clara County.

Reported by the San Jose Mercury News, the judge said the attorney general doesn't have the authority to block the sale which is expected to close at the end of the month. It is the second court to reject Bercerra on the matter.

Santa Clara County is purchasing O’Connor Hospital in San Jose and Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy from the nonprofit Verity Health System, which filed for bankruptcy in August. (San Jose Mercury News)

Virginia lawmaker seeks feedback on healthcare cybersecurity

U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, is soliciting feedback from healthcare and health IT industry groups about ways to best improve cybersecurity in the healthcare industry, according to a press release. Sen. Warner sent letters to healthcare stakeholders, including the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, AdvaMed, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, among others.

“The increased use of technology in healthcare certainly has the potential to improve the quality of patient care, expand access to care (including by extending the range of services through telehealth), and reduce wasteful spending. However, the increased use of technology has also left the healthcare industry more vulnerable to attack,” Sen. Warner said in a statement.

According to the Government Accountability Office, more than 113 million care records were stolen in 2015. A separate study conducted that same year estimated that the cost of cyber attacks would cost the healthcare system $305 million over a five-year period, according to the press release.

Sen. Warner said he wants to work with industry stakeholders on developing a short and long-term strategy for reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the healthcare sector. (Press release)