Some USF Health employees will find their paychecks signed by a new employer in 2008.
On Jan. 1, more than 150 professors and researchers using the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center’s facilities will shift from the payroll of USF Health to that of Moffitt. Members of the Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology, currently a part of the USF College of Medicine, and certain radiology faculty members who work on site at Moffitt will be affected by the change.
The new policy reflects a plan presented Nov. 6 by Dr. Steven Klasko, vice president of USF Health and dean of the College of Medicine, to a committee of the USF Board of Trustees. His proposal called for USF to close its Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology and transfer the department’s employees to Moffitt’s payroll. Since all employees already work on site at Moffitt, the transfer involves no physical relocation. Presently, Moffitt pays USF Health for the use of its doctors and researchers.
The slated shift eliminates the transfer of funds from Moffitt to USF Health, allowing Moffitt to pay the researchers directly. This new model simplifies the administrative duties of both parties and allows them to focus on more important matters, according to Klasko.
“We will be able to concentrate our efforts on working together around research, around education, around economic development and not on who’s billing,” he said. “It eliminates what was a very confusing part of our practice group.”
Klasko said the change should be so seamless that individual employees will not notice the difference. Salaries and benefits will be maintained at their current levels, and employees will keep planned vacation time.
“At the end of the day, there will be very minimal, if any, differences,” said Klasko.
Employees who do not wish to transfer to Moffitt may stay at USF in a different department, or may continue to offer their current services to Moffitt until June 30, 2008.
Klasko said the new setup would strengthen the relationship between USF Health and Moffitt, an idea borrowed from the most successful medical programs in the nation. By making Moffitt the employer of USF faculty, the
transfer solidifies the goals of both parties without restricting the benefits. USF Health will continue to enjoy access to patients and facilities; Moffitt Cancer Center will still utilize residents and students from USF.
The proposed plan amends an agreement reached in 2005, which streamlined the relationship between the two institutes but kept the Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology as part of USF. The current agreement between the parties is officially in effect until 2015 but will likely extend much longer.
While USF views the change as a positive step forward, Klasko is confident that the stronger relationship with Moffitt means that employee transfers will no longer be needed as both programs grow.
The need for the more efficient organizational model has accompanied USF’s rise in national prominence. Within a year, USF anticipates being among the top 50 colleges and universities receiving funding by the National Institutes of Health, a significant leap for a program that had previously not reached the top 100.
“We have become nationally recognized, and part of doing that in a health-related environment is being willing to be flexible with change; I think this is just one of those examples,” Klasko said.