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U of Md. to partner with Hospital Authority

Some Prince George's Hospital system news in the past few days to take note of.

Most recently, the county's Hospital Authority -- tasked with finding a private entity to take over the county's troubled health-care network -- announced at its meeting today the formation of a "strategic alliance" with the University of Maryland Medical System. The university is going to finance and conduct a study "to determine the economic feasibility of building a teaching hospital" in the county, said the authority's chairman, Kenneth Glover.

He said the Hospital Authority wanted the issue studied because a teaching hospital is "the ultimate in health care," Glover said. "If we can get a teaching hospital, then what you have is research, the ability to train professionals, attract great doctors."

Glover said the study is due to be completed at the end of May, the same deadline the authority has under state legislation to find a buyer. Whether the logistics of bringing a teaching hospital to the county would affect the takeover of the hospital system in any way remains to be seen, but as of now, Glover says, the study is a "separate issue" from the sale of the hospital.

In other news, the county's hospital system will be getting a $2.5 million federal grant to beef up operations in the event of a terrorist attack in the region.

While welcome, that money won't do much to plug the hole left by the county partly reneging on its promise to fund the hospital to the tune of $3 million, said Suzanne Almalel, a spokeswoman for Dimensions Healthcare System, the nonprofit that runs the county hospital system. She said the money is all for capital improvements, not operating expenses.

CLARIFICATION: Language used in the above item could have been read as meaning that Suzanne Almalel characterized the county wihholding promised funds from the hospital system last year as "partly reneging on its promise." She did not use those words. She did confirm that the newly awarded $2.5 million in federal funds could not be used to substitute for the $3 million in undelivered county funds.

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  January 11, 2010; 7:04 PM ET
Categories:  Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County  
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Comments

While they're at it, perhaps they could build a more robust public health and FQHC system so uninsured and underinsured PG County patients aren't dumped on the overburdened DC public health sector...

Posted by: DavidMNDC | January 11, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey DavidMNDC

I can respond to this...now that I have stopped rolling around on the floor laughing. Are you kidding me? I can speak first hand to the overburden of PGHC with DC patients....a lot of TRAUMA that have NO INSURANCE. How about you keep your uninsured GUNSHOT victims over there and we will keep our uninsured pregnant women out of DC. While your at it I would like to see the number of kids dropped off at OUR schools with DC tags to stop as well. GOODLUCK with that one.

Posted by: itsmepg | January 13, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

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