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Competing operator files protest over United Medical Center's selection to run hospital

One of the companies that competed for the contract to operate Washington, D.C.-based United Medical Center filed a protest against the hospital earlier this month over UMC's decision to select Mazars USA to operate the facility, the Washington Business Journal reports.

Here are five things to know about the situation.

1. FTI Health Solutions, part of bankruptcy and corporate restructuring advisory firm FTI Consulting, claimed in a Feb. 9 letter to the D.C. Contract Appeals Board that UMC violated D.C. procurement law when it awarded a $5 million, eight-month contract to Mazars USA in January.

2. FTI is seeking to have UMC's contract with Mazars USA thrown out and recompete for the $5 million contract, the report states. FTI Health Solutions Managing Director Tom Layton wrote in the protest, "The solicitation and the procurement process [for the UMC contract] were severely flawed," and that UMC selected "an inexperienced firm to provide hospital operator services."

3. According to UMC's contract with Mazars USA, obtained by the Washington Business Journal, UMC named the company the hospital's next operator because of Mazar's experience with successfully turning around failing hospitals.

4. Mazars USA officials claim FTI made "significant factual errors" in its protest and highlighted revenue figures that were "wholly inaccurate," the report states.

"Our experience in this industry is considerable and relevant. Our team is on site helping hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country every single day," a spokesperson for Mazars USA told the Washington Business Journal in a statement. "Our group's singular focus is to help our client facilities survive and thrive in the current environment."

5. The contract is slated to go before the D.C. Council during the coming week. If the council approves the contract, but FTI's protest prevails, Mazars USA may lose the contract, restarting the request for proposals process to search for another hospital operator.

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