County critical of ACRH trustees

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Local News

September 19, 2018 - 11:30 AM

Although Allen County commissioners have no role in deciding issues affecting Allen County Regional Hospital, a point fortified by County Counselor Alan Weber, they want hospital trustees to know they’re disappointed in proceedings that may lead to a management change.
With the hospital’s current management contract with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) expiring in 2020, trustees are in the process of asking healthcare companies to submit management proposals. Trustees considered soliciting proposals for a lease agreement, which would give a healthcare company complete control over all hospital operations and services, but decided not to return to that arrangement.
Commissioners said they would have liked to see the trustees consider lease proposals.
“I’d like for us to have a meeting with the board,” Commissioner John Brocker said Tuesday morning. “I’ve had comments from former and current employees, I’d like board members to hear.”
Weber’s response was “having too many cooks in the kitchen” could have a debilitating effect.
Brocker countered, re-emphasizing his desire.
Chairman Jerry Daniels added he has received several texts complaining of hospital management, but declined to be more specific.
Commissioner Bill King, recently appointed to the position, asked rhetorically whether it’s a role of commissioners to interfere in hospital management, after which Weber confirmed it is not.  
But Brocker would not give up and accused Weber of not representing commissioners’ “feelings” in regards as to whether they should pursue a lease option rather than remain with a management group.
Hospital trustees have said they believe residents want the county to keep control over the hospital. With a lease option, all profits flow to the controlling entity.
“I’m disappointed the (hospital) board was not open to all options,” Daniels said. “I know a very large hospital was interested in discussing a lease agreement.
“The commission’s job is to represent all citizens and we’re the bottom line,” he said.
Commissioners said they hoped to arrange a meeting with the board’s chairman, Patti Boyd.
Trustees are appointed by commissioners and serve at their pleasure, as it is with any other subordinate board or committee. Weber was asked if commissioners had the ability, if dissatisfaction festered, to fire hospital board members.
“Yes,” he replied.
The terms of two members, Boyd, of Moran, and Sean McReynolds, of Humboldt, expire at the end of the year. Commissioners have discussed some names for replacements, but won’t take action until later.

 

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