Home News Citizen Petition Raises Questions About Lee Health’s Transition to Private Nonprofit Status

Citizen Petition Raises Questions About Lee Health’s Transition to Private Nonprofit Status

Citizen Petition Raises Questions About Lee Health’s Transition to Private Nonprofit Status

A Lee County physician has initiated a citizen petition searching for an audit of Lee Health’s assets as the general public hospital system progresses towards becoming a personal nonprofit entity. Dr. Raymond Kordonowy, an internal medicine physician in private practice in Lee County, has closely monitored the board of director’s discussions and movements towards this conversion resulting from concerns about competition from for-profit entities. He believes it is important that physicians are informed of how this transformation could affect their practices and that most of the people understands the potential implications for access to care, particularly charitable take care of the less fortunate and uninsured individuals.

Kordonowy intends to present the petition during a public hearing scheduled on April 25 in regards to the conversion matter. The hearing is ready for 4 p.m. locally room at Gulf Coast Medical Center, 13681 Doctors Way in Fort Myers. The petition addresses the dearth of transparency regarding Lee Health’s assets and calls for an entire disclosure of those assets, emphasizing that the organization belongs to the Lee County public. The petition argues that with out a comprehensive understanding of the system’s assets, it’s inconceivable to judge the implications of a conversion properly.

Lee Health, with a large 1,865-bed system and a $3 billion operating budget, provided $179 million in charity care and community advantages last yr. While the system pledges to uphold its mission as a safety-net hospital, concerns remain in regards to the governance changes potentially affecting charitable care provision. The petition expresses fears that dissolving the present governance structure could eliminate the duty to offer charitable care and shift the main focus towards non-hospital specialty care and outpatient services.

Although Lee Health assures that the commitment to charity care will persist, the necessity to prioritize charitable care stays a contentious issue for some. Despite the petition’s call for a good market valuation of the system’s assets to tell the conversion process, Lee Health maintains that there is no such thing as a intent to sell the health system. Moreover, the health system asserts that the general public can access audited financial statements as required by Florida statutes, discrediting the necessity for an expensive valuation that might only be needed if a sale were on the table.

The discussions across the conversion stem from legislative changes, similar to the state’s recent elimination of the certificate of need law and the rise of personal equity firms in outpatient care services. Because the board of directors nears a choice on the conversion in June, the involvement of the Lee County Commission becomes crucial. Ultimately, the board goals to uphold Lee Health’s local mission and maintain control under local leadership amid the evolving healthcare landscape.


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