Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Even more trouble at General Hospital: Fifth member of 10 member board resigns.

Yet another board member of the Nashville Hospital Authority Board as resigned making this the fifth member to resign from the board in the last month.  The Board member who resigned yesterday was Fredia Outlaw. In resigning she said she had "grave concerns" about the  Board. "I believe in a focus on both process and outcomes in keeping with principals and practice that ensure integrity,” Outlaw said. “I strongly believe that the current process of review and renew of Dr. Webb’s contract is seriously flawed.”

Two weeks ago the Board voted to "extend" the contract of Hospital CEO Joseph Webb despite no formal performance review and no formal written contract which to extend at the time. The  extension of the non-existing contact did not specify salary or benefits. The board said they would work that out later. That vote was 5-1. At the time there were two members absent and two vacancies on the board.

Prior to Outlaw's resignation and since the action of the Board to extend Webbs non-existing contract, Board member Dr. Michele Williams resigned.  Dr. Williams reported told The Tennessean he had 'trust issues' with the Board. He said that Mr. Webb's performance review had essentially been completed for months but it was not favorable so the Board did not release it fearing it would jeopardize hospital funding. Dr. Williams' departure from the Board means the Board does not have enough physician members to make decisions about medical credentialing or evaluate medical staff, according to the Tennessean.  I am unsure if this is a result of State law or Metro charter or board policy and I do not know how many, if any, physician remain on the Board.

Metro General has failed time and time again to live within the budget provided by the city and has had to go hat-in-hand repeatedly to the Council asking for more money. One would think that that failure to live within budget would be a factor in a performance review. I don't know if this is a negative reflection on Webb or not.  It may very well be that he is such a great administrator that General would have been asking for even more money without Webb's leadership. I don't know.  One would think however, that given what a mess General is in that the board would want an objective official performance review before extending his contract. This action of the board does not instill confidence.

Metro General has serious problems. It can not fill its beds because not enough people choose General. Metro jail inmates without insurance must use General if they need hospitalization and Metro employees get a special deal it they will use General.  Ever since the advent of Medicaid there has been no need for a charity hospital and is only kept alive because it is a source of pride in the Black community. The current city subsidy to General Hospital is $11 million. Briley's proposed budget for next year would give the hospital a $46.million subsidy.  Former Mayor Barry had a plan to close General and replace it with an outpatient clinic, but abandoned that play when she got push back.
For source material and more information see these links: herehere, here,

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