Sunday, June 03, 2018

Metro General Hospital Board renews CEO's contract w/o a written contract or performance reveiw

As dismal has has been the performance of Metro General Hospital and given how close it came to being shut down, one would think the Hospital Board would not do outlandish things to call attention to itself and to create hostility, but they did. This action has generated  public criticism from at least two council members.

Last Thursday, the Hospital Authority Board, which oversees Metro General voted 5-1 to extend CEO Joseph Webb's contact for three more years.  Although since there is not now a contract, I am not sure how you extend something that doesn't exist.  Anyway, they voted to retain him for three more years and said they would work out detail such has how much he will get paid in the future.  They also did this without benefit of a performance review.  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 to extend his unwritten contract was 5 to 1. While that constitutes a quorum, two members were absent and at the time there were two vacancies on the Board. There are now three vacancies on the Board. One member who was present at that meeting and did not vote resigned at the end of the meeting. One of the reasons given for not having a performance reveire, is that the board member who was in charge of the performance review resigned last month before completing it. Three board members have resigned in one month.

Metro General is an unnecessary enterprise.  There is no State requirement of Metro Charter requirement that Metro provide a charity hospital. Despite Metro employees being given an incentive to use General and prisoners in the metro jail without insurance being sent to General, the hospital cannot fill its beds.  Ever since the advent of medicaid, poor people can go to the hospital of their choice.  General should have been closed about fifty years ago. The real reason we keep General is 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.

For more on this story see the Tennessean's coverage at this link

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