CARTI's New Plan Upsets Decades-long Relationship

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Apr. 30, 2012 12:00 am  

Burford, however, had a different take on how LRHO came to join CARTI.

She said that she went to talk to LRHO officials about a year ago and it was suggested that they work together.

She said LRHO was interested in becoming one organization with CARTI and building a community cancer center for private practice doctors.

Burford said the money to buy LRHO came from CARTI’s reserves and not from funds that were donated to CARTI through its fundraisers.

The acquisition increased CARTI’s employees from 174 to 341.

And CARTI added medical and surgical oncologists and diagnostic radiologists.

CARTI also said it would partner with Radiation Oncol-

ogy Associates P.A., a seven-member medical practice in Little Rock, to build the center. CARTI already had a working relationship with ROAPA and paid it $6.4 million for radiation oncology service during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010.

But the move to build a CARTI cancer center upset UAMS.

“We believed that CARTI’s decision to acquire a hematology and oncology practice and to become a comprehensive cancer center … was a fundamental change in scope,” said Dan Rahn, the chancellor of UAMS, in the March 29 UA trustee meeting.

Burford agreed that CARTI has been unusual in that it worked with both private practice doctors and UAMS physicians.

“It’s worked for 35 years,” Burford said. “We thought we could continue doing it. … CARTI will now focus exclusively in the private practice arena.”




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