The U-M clinic has a “very long and very productive affiliation” with the hospital, says Skye, CCH’s chief of staff and a part-time professor at the U-M Medical School. More than twenty physicians affiliated with the university practice at Chelsea, and they will continue to use the hospital and its facilities and operations, as will U-M medical residents. “There’s a long-term commitment, a contractual commitment,” says Tom Schwenk, chair of the U-M’s family medicine department.
Schwenk acknowledges that the U-M wanted to acquire Chelsea Community Hospital and is disappointed it wasn’t chosen. “It certainly makes it trickier for the university not to own Chelsea Hospital,” he says. “I have all sorts of concerns about things that might happen that are not favorable to us in Chelsea.” But, he adds, “that’s too speculative to discuss.”
Two groups could end up squeezed by the buyout in years ahead: consumers and the hospital’s employees.