Wow, September 12th – another full day of meetings at Broward Health.
My last article was over a month ago, and since that time there have been two all-day Broward Health Board and committee meeting(September 12th & 26th). I recorded and posted to YouTube both days of meetings. There were some remarkable moments in these recordings but even more remarkable were some events leading up to these meetings and continuing through today. Some of these events were sub-rosa, while others happened in plain sight – but taken together, they have materially affected the new path on which Broward Health finds itself today.
There was the marathon July Board meeting that began to coalesce an emerging core Board majority interested more in independent oversight and the future of the entire Broward Health organization than in the care and feeding of outside special interests. (see my article – Broward Health Marathon 12 Hour Meeting – Many New Revelations.)
While the August Board meeting canceled due to the inability of the Board to meet and have a quorum present, August provided the Board members with a pile of new documents and information as a result of their information requests as well as some relevant public records request by others. (recall that Governor Scott still fails to appoint a full complement of 7 Board members – currently, there are only five, and until recently there were only four). Many Board members did not like what they saw, and the pace behind the scenes began to quicken. Too many Board members were beginning to question what they were being told and wanted things verified. The Board majority was beginning to decide both whom they believed and whom they trusted. Some remarkable personal exchanges reportedly happened with unexpected outcomes.
And the pace accelerates. In late August, a senior C-Suite executive reached out to me for assistance. Here I must digress and explain a bit.
I have attended nearly every board meeting since mid-2011, seven years. In September of 2014, I published my first of more than 182 Broward Health articles in my ‘BrwdHealth’ blog that currently has over 2200 subscribers and on average more than 70,000 page views per month. Notably, during this time, I made many and sometimes extensive public records requests and together with the board, and committee minutes, these records became a significant and searchable growing private Broward Health Knowledge Base of nearly one terabyte (1TB) of data.
The strategy of my published writing was candidly to reveal and hopefully elicit better conduct from Broward Health’s Board by shining a light on what I believed was rampant mismanagement, and in some cases outright dishonesty (although not criminality).
Now I was being asked, more challenged to work together with Broward Health senior leadership toward the common goal of Broward Health’s service to and with the community utilizing over 35 years of my public policy experience. Amazing! It takes a lot to surprise me – but I was surprised and completely caught off-guard. Then I was impressed.
As a result of this overture, I met personally with every current Board member as well as some previous Board members with whom I had become friends. I met with groups of physicians both in and out of Broward Health, and I met with a plethora of political leaders culminating with the current candidates for Governor.
During this time, I also continued to pursue some public records requests that dated back more than 90 days. I will be publishing these requests and the responses to it in a future article. Its fair to say that public records continues to be a significant challenge for Broward Health.
The September 12th, 2018 day of Board meetings began with the finance committee meeting. For the first time that I can remember, the Board requested breakout budgets for legal and compliance. Alan Goldsmith, CFO stated that senior staff had deferred to the Board Reporting individual departmental staffs to prepare their budgets which were then incorporated – without review, into the proposed System-wide budget. If you take the time to review the finance committee meeting video – you will see that after some basic questioning – the new Board majority had some real problems with this approach.
Here are the 9/12/2018 Finance Committee Agenda Materials you will find interesting (the individual budgets for Legal & Compliance are at the end).9/12/2018 Finance Copmmittee Meeting Packet Excerpts
Next came the Broward Health Compliance meeting. You can see that the Board is more than a little skeptical about the failure to their chief compliance officer to inform senior staff about some important communications from the Federal Monitor. This video is a must see. (Note Lynn Barrett’s inappropriate and disrespectable use of air quotes when referring to “Senior Management” – it’s almost like she doesn’t know the meeting is taped) .
Here are the 9/12/2018 Compliance Committee Agenda Materials. Its probably appropriate to disclose the common knowledge rumor that the Chief Compliance Officer’s live-in girlfriend/finance works for Corporate Counsel, Lynn Barrett. If true, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is complicit with the weaponizing of the IRO (see my article: Broward Health’s Legal Czar Barrett Weaponizing the IRO), but the independence of the compliance office is now a legitimate Board concern.9/12/18 Broward Health Compliance Committee Meeting Packet Excerpts
The 9/12/2018 Board meeting had some really important elements that make it worth watching start to finish. Chief among these is the discussion about the partnership entity between Broward Health and the Memorial system (Community Care Plan). This partnership will serve as the potential vehicle for the public hospitals in Broward (30 Memorial and 50 Broward Health facilities) to offer health insurance to all governmental employees (County government, constitutional officers, the Jail, the School Board, all 31 Cities) thus keeping millions of dollars of health premiums monthly in Broward as opposed to sending them to out of state shareholders. It’s a big deal, and you get to see a glimpse of the future in these conversations.
Then with item 15 on the Board agenda, “Board Operations”, followed by the item 16 – “Supervision, direction, and evaluation of Board Reports” you to see the Board begin really to embrace their oversight responsibilities and act. It’s at 2:00:10 in the video. The meeting ends with a divisive explosion of turf protection that has one board member waiving a purported board policy (that was not provided to any other board members – hmm) and which, unbeknownst by the waiving Board member was contradicted by a different board policy held by a senior staff member. The explosion was the product of manipulative senior staff attempting to use the Board as a weapon against other senior staff. While it makes good theatre and a good video – it is decidedly not good public policy.
The Board was not fooled, and not amused at the transparent antics.