Ex-Florida hospital CEO's decisions should be reviewed, local paper says

The new leadership at Naples, Fla.-based NCH Healthcare System should re-examine the policy decisions of the system's former CEO during the last few years and show their support for residents of the community, the Naples Daily News editorial board wrote in a Jan. 30 op-ed.

The op-ed comes days after the resignation of hospital President and CEO Allen Weiss, MD, who opted to leave the system after NCH physician staff voted of no confidence in him Jan. 17. The no-confidence vote came amid protests regarding Dr. Weiss' support of a controversial admissions policy, which called for hospitalists embedded in inpatient units to be responsible for admitting patients and that physicians outside of NCH could not write prescription orders.

The Naples Daily News editorial board noted that Dr. Weiss, who served as chief executive of the health system for 12 years, completed nearly three dozen projects during his tenure. However, some of his administration's actions, like the admissions policy, have elicited concern from the community.

Among those actions were decisions that led to NCH's frayed relationships with other local health facilities. The board specifically mentions NCH's opposition to the creation of a 25-bed hospital in Ave Maria, Fla., under Dr. Weiss. The board wrote that the hospital "surely wouldn't threaten NCH's market dominance" in the area, and that other health systems in the area did not object to the project.

However, the health system's interim leadership has recently opted to try to rebuild NCH's relationships with other health facilities in the community. The board noted it was "encouraged" by interim CEO Phil Dutcher's decision to drop NCH's lawsuit to stop the hospital from being built.

"As events of the last week have demonstrated, Weiss' opinion doesn't always prevail. For all the good things he can take credit for at NCH, the new leadership owes it to the community to look again at controversial policies of the past few years," the board wrote.

To access the full report, click here.

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