New Agreement Will Continue to Provide Hospital District’s Physicians
The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and Baylor College of Medicine have renewed their operating contracts with Affiliated Medical Services (AMS), ensuring that the two medical schools’ physicians will continue practicing in hospitals and clinics of Harris County Hospital District.
AMS is a Texas-certified non-profit health corporation formed by the two medical schools that contracts with HCHD to provide physician services from both schools.
The deal between the hospital district and AMS is budgeted at more than $121 million for fiscal year 2008 (July 2007-June 2008).
“We are pleased to be continuing to work with the HCHD to provide quality medical care through the district,” said Brent R. King, M.D., the UT Health Science Center’s interim executive vice president and chief operating officer. “UT-Houston is signed on to this new agreement. There remain details to be worked out, such as the specific basis for compensation.”
“This agreement demonstrates the continuing commitment of Baylor College of Medicine to the hospital district – a strong relationship that benefits the entire community,” said Dr. Jay Stein, senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs at BCM. “Our faculty will ensure that the highest quality of care is provided to the district’s patients.”
Among the significant changes incorporated into this new agreement is the possibility of converting the current method for contracting payment from a full-time equivalent basis to a productivity-based scale.
Other changes since the previous agreement was signed in 1990 include:
Providing the hospital district with an option to utilize, when necessary, non-medical school providers in the delivery of health care;
Changing the agreement from a fixed 20-year term to a rolling five-year period;
Establishing an objective accountability system that will measure the effectiveness of services provided.
The new agreement identifies performance and quality indicators and offers incentives to providers who achieve or exceed performance-based goals, as well as disincentives or discounted rates of payment for subcontractors’ or providers’ non-compliance with standards of patient care.
“Affiliated Medical Services is pleased to renew its longtime partnership with the Harris County Hospital District by signing a new affiliation agreement,” said Jose Garcia, M.D., general director of AMS and a UT-Houston associate professor of pediatrics. “AMS will continue to partner with the hospital district to provide quality medical care to the residents of Harris County.”
UT Medical School faculty members provide comprehensive medical care at the hospital district’s Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital. The medical school’s two teaching hospitals (the other is Memorial Hermann–Texas Medical Center) together participate in training medical residents and students in a variety of specialties.
“The hospital district and both medical schools share a dedication to providing quality medical services to patients, the promotion of personal and community health, and the education and training of medical students, interns, residents, fellows, and other health and hospital personnel,” said Harris County Hospital District President and CEO David S. Lopez. “The revised agreement allows HCHD and AMS to continue working collaboratively to meet the health care needs of Harris County residents.”
The Harris County Hospital District is the public health care system for the nations’ third most-populous county. It provides more than 1.1 million health care visits each year to Harris County residents. The hospital district operates Ben Taub General Hospital, Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, Quentin Mease Community Hospital, 12 community health centers, a dental center, eight school-based clinics, 13 homeless shelter clinics and four mobile health units.
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