Broward Health board postpones CEO search indefinitely

Broward Health's board decided Wednesday to delay naming a new CEO after reading a report from a firm hired to assess the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based system's procedures, policies and operations, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The report, prepared by the law firm Baker Donelson, outlines a number of problems at Broward Health, including an "extraordinary amount of blame-shifting" over failure to fix issues that led to a $69.5 million settlement with the federal government in 2015. The system entered into the settlement to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in improper financial relationships with physicians.

The report also said senior management at Broward Health makes the mistake of deferring to physicians when making decisions about physician compensation.

Regarding the report, Broward Health Board Chairman Christopher Ure told the Sun Sentinel, "In reading through this document, it's abundantly clear to me that we've got some pretty significant deficiencies. ...I personally think it would be a wise move to point out the areas where we as an organization are deficient. I think that some level of contrition, some level of acknowledgement of the problems that remain would ultimately serve us well."

Earlier this month, Broward officials said three finalists were interviewed for the permanent CEO role, and the system expected to make a decision by Oct. 31. However, given the findings in the independent report, board members want to re-examine hiring criteria and see more applicants, according to the report.

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