CFO Ekerete Akpan leaves Cook County Health

Chicago-based Cook County Health is taking multiple steps to address a financial challenge created by unanticipated and continued growth in uncompensated care over the last few years, according to an internal memo obtained by Becker's Hospital Review

CFO Ekerete Akpan has left his role, and the public health system has retained Chicago-based advisory firm AArete to review and examine its fiscal year 2020 budget and develop short- and long-term financial strategies, interim CEO Debra Carey said in the memo to the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Mr. Akpan's last day with Cook County Health was Feb. 21. He had served as CFO since 2015. 

Ms. Carey said Mr. Akpan's responsibilities have been temporarily delegated to other health system leaders, and Cook County Health is considering retaining a full-time, interim CFO to manage the day-to-day finance department operations.

AArete will assess Cook County Health revenue cycle processes, charity care and bad debt. Based on the review, the advisory firm will make recommendations to address estimated financial variances for fiscal year 2020 and plan for the next fiscal year budget.

"It is my hope that these initial steps will provide us all with a deeper understanding of the current financial situation as well as a plan that will include specific strategies moving forward," Ms. Carey wrote to county commissioners. "I will provide you with updates throughout the process."

Cook County Health operates two hospitals and a network of more than 12 community health centers.


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