Don’t Do the Crime if You Can’t Do the Time as Hospital CEO

February 5, 2018

Over the years, I have dealt with many hospital CEOs that I thought were criminals. In fact, I have dealt with some who were indicted, and, in at least one case, a CEO who later became a long-term “guest” in the Gray Bar Hotel.

But it still amazed me to read last week in a piece in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about Broward Health, the Florida state-run entity that is one of the nation’s largest health systems, appointing its criminally indicted interim CEO, Beverly Capasso, as its new permanent CEO after a search for a new leader.

It gets even more darkly funny when you take into account the crime for which Ms. Capasso is charged: For allegedly violating, together with two currently-sitting board members, a former board member, and the health system’s general counsel, the state’s open-meetings law in connection with how they handled the investigation and firing of the previous interim CEO!

Yes, I know that we’re supposed to all say, parrot-like, “But she’s innocent until proven guilty!” Sure, but that’s just a rule of law, not a rule of what’s the right move in connection with a health system (a public one, at that) hiring decision. (Or, for that matter, a medical group hiring decision.)

In an era in which compliance with the plethora of laws, rules, and regulations impacting healthcare has become an obsession, what message does Broward Health, or the hospital at which you practice, or your medical group, for that matter, send when its actions contradict its message?

“We expect you to comply with the law and to uphold the highest ethical standards, even if we don’t.”

Or, even worse, “We’re not angels, but if you’re not, your contract is terminated.”

Sure, no one is perfect. But try not to be stupid.

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