Beware the Outspoken Board Member

An outspoken member of the Grady hospital board, an Atlanta facility experiencing a severe money crunch, last week took it upon himself to hand a neighboring county a $4 million bill for Grady services, implying that the hospital would not be in a money crunch if it didn’t have to care for the indigent of its neighbors.

I have always been wary of public hospitals run by commissioners or politically appointed board members. And this is frankly an issue that really does not get looked at much. If I am going to be a patient somewhere, why in the world would I check, among the ten thousand things on my mind, who makes up the board. I agree. But maybe when you are not a patient and just forming opinions about where you might go for care that knowing who is on the board might be important. I say important in the sense that it gives you a feel for the hospital overall.

A hospital with a bunch of political cronies on the board says it is more interested in the bottom line and back room deals than patient care (so I generalize). A board that is made up of community individuals who are respected and have valid platforms for being on the board makes another statement.

In some respects, the same look see of hospital, nursing home management makes a similar statement. I know for a fact that stable, long-term management in a nursing home usually translates to a facility with less turnover, a culture of caring, satisfied employees and residents.

So does knowing who is in management and on the board of your local health care entity matter? I guess you know my answer.