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Office of the President - Wayne State University

Dear faculty,

You are undoubtedly familiar with the controversy reported in the media between the Wayne State University School of Medicine and several physician groups, most notably University Pediatricians, with regard to the Medicaid Public Entity Physician Payment Adjustment Program (PEPPAP). The specific purpose of the program is to provide “particular recognition of the importance of access to specialty and sub-specialty providers for Medicaid patients.” Neither the state nor the Medicaid Health Plans impose requirements specifying how each public entity is to allocate PEPPAP funds to meet the goal of improving access to specialty and sub-specialty providers for Medicaid patients.

You will likely agree with me that this is a very complex program which involves the state and federal governments, as well as intergovernmental and other transfers of funds, and the media coverage has not been clarifying. Last week you received a letter from Professor Parrish of the AAUP-AFT that unfortunately was somewhat misleading. For example, a newspaper source was quoted to explain the intent of PEPPAP and the characterization of the WSU Board’s position on certain matters did not rely on persons authorized to speak on behalf of the Board.

Whether or not the Wayne State School of Medicine has the legal standing to keep part of the PEPPAP funds to achieve the intent of the authorizing legislation is not a debatable question. It does. The question of whether the amount kept is appropriate or not is a related, yet different issue that should be addressed. It is important and cannot be adjudicated through the media. 

Therefore, I have asked the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to hire an outside adjudicator of their choosing, expert in matters of PEPPAP funds, to review the School of Medicine’s past and current practices with regard to these funds. I am requesting that the state charge this person with the task of determining the appropriateness of the purpose for which these funds are being spent, as well as the amount of the funds, using national norms and best practices as available. 

Until this review is completed, I have requested that Wayne State University and WSU School of Medicine Administration not respond to media requests related to PEPPAP funds. Rehashing of contested views on something so difficult to understand — particularly in the absence of any new information — causes further confusion, which only serves to advance the agendas of those who are not necessarily aligned with what is in the best interests of Wayne State University.


M. Roy Wilson signature

M. Roy Wilson
President, Wayne State University