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Look to management for MRMC problems

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Letter to the editor by Bill Ford

By Bill Ford

There's so much talk about providing taxes to help Munroe Regional Medical Center (MRMC), out of its financial problems, but maybe we should look within to solve their problems. Since Mr. Purvis came to MRMC, it seems to be having illogical or unsolvable financial problems. He certainly is not in touch with the public he serves and pays him well.

MRMC has been bringing in its own consultants who are giving it high marks for the efficient operation of the hospital. It's been said the hospital's management has performed at the highest standards. I'm sure MRMC management consultants would give them high marks, as it would serve both their purposes.

Then look at the board composition. A chairman who is serving on both boards representing the hospital, a conflict of interest, and him not having any hospital experience. Some years ago when there was a problem with the "Foundation" not doing their job for the hospital and then bringing the Foundation in-house, the now board chairman made some of the most unprofessional remarks regarding management of the hospital and the Foundation. Mr. Ghumman didn't know how a hospital should be managed then and still doesn't.

By the way, since the Foundation was brought in-house we've heard nothing about it or its executive director, or even if it still exists. If it does exist, I wonder if it's still draining the $1.2 million from the hospital as it was back when it was brought in-house.

Now, having been a hospital auditor and Medicare auditor, and having uncovered large sums of Medicare fraud, audited then Munroe Memorial Hospital, plus having been a hospital assistant administrator for finance and development, I feel I have some expertise regarding hospital management. We had the most intelligent man, Mr. Henson, in line to be chairman of the board, but through the boards infighting, he resigned. I guess intelligence isn't required to serve on the board.

Then look at the board's composition. Doctors who practice at MRMC are making board management decisions. The board should be out there raising money for the hospital, because that's one of their primary responsibilities. How about it, board members, why don't you set an example and help out here? Mr. Ghumman, you have millions, how much can you give and have the rest of the board follow your example. Also, all donations to MRMC should be made public. We hear of all of the foundations here in Ocala but never a word about the hospital Foundation. A Foundation executive director or development director should be paid based on what they bring in to the Foundation.

Finally,the first place to look to save money is within and again not by the hospital's own consulting firm, but by an unbiased audit firm. It seems to me the hospital board is treading on residents of Ocala who are not familiar with hospital management. One advantage Ocala has is having people like myself who are migrating here with hospital experience. Sadly we are not called upon to be of help except to be patient volunteers. One must understand that hospital management is nothing like a lawyer's office, a community developer, a waste management owner or a restaurant owner. We should be teaching hospital management to non-hospital people such as board members. Mr. Purvis should know this, but does he? NO! It seems the board and Mr. Purvis want nothing but taxes, taxes, and more taxes. HELP!

Bill Ford

Ocala