Health committee to oversee AHC changes

The new Regents committee will inform the board on upcoming changes.

Meghan Holden

With a series of health care changes coming to the University of Minnesota, the Board of Regents has formed a new committee to educate the board.

Regents chair Richard Beeson created the Special Study Committee on Academic Health to inform the board on the Affordable Care Act, selection of the new dean for the Medical School and the University’s relationship with Fairview Health Services, among other things.

The committee will meet twice this year to “help bring the board up to speed,” Beeson said.

The board approved last May a shared governance structure of the University, Fairview Health Services and University of Minnesota, which allows the University to “integrate the operations and finances of the organizations without merging them,” according to a press release.

The agreement came after a proposed merger of the University and Fairview was declined earlier this year.

Although Fairview’s interim CEO Chuck Mooty previously said in a statement that the University and Fairview would work on strengthening their relationship, Beeson said the new committee won’t be looking at merger acquisitions.

In addition to this relationship with Fairview, the newly formed committee will keep the regents informed of health care changes stemming from the Affordable Care Act. The University has already proposed changes to its employee health benefits plan that could increase out-of-pocket expenses for employees.

The committee will also address the selection of a new dean for the University’s Medical School in preparation for when Dean Aaron Friedman steps down at the end of this year. Friedman took the position on an interim basis in January 2011 when the previous dean stepped down. Now, the University is searching for a permanent replacement.

Regent Linda Cohen, the former board chair, will serve as committee chair.