Covenant's Administration Reacts After Doctors Vote No Confidence In Administrative Process - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/24/08

Covenant's Administration Reacts After Doctors Vote No Confidence In Administrative Process

NewsChannel 11 continues to follow developments in a story that is raising questions about Lubbock's largest hospital. On Friday, Covenant's administration reacted after a group of doctors gives a vote of "no confidence" in the current administrative process.

226 doctors voted on this two-page resolution Thursday night. In it, active medical staff expresses several concerns including the children's hospital and negotiations with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Ten years ago, you may remember Lubbock Methodist Hospital System merged with St. Mary of the Plains Hospital. In the resolution doctors says for the past eight years and three administrative cycles they have had no meaningful representation in decision making of patient care issues.  

Thursday night active medical staff gathered at Covenant Lakeside Hospital. Out of that meeting came a resolution and concerns over several issues at Covenant Medical Center including inadequate representation to the board of directors.

However, it doesn't stop there. On the second page, six areas of concerns are listed. Sources tell NewsChannel 11 doctors are especially upset by Covenant building a brand new $40 million children's hospital, which is still vacant, without their input. At the same time, building continues at another emergency room at 98th and Slide, which will also, requires medical staff coverage. Medical staffers also feel like they were not allowed to have input on the recent negotiations between Covenant and Blue Cross. The current administration declined to comment on camera. But Friday afternoon NewsChannel 11 received a statement.

Covenant Chief of staff, Harry Hall, presided over the special meeting. He says "A variety of changes in health care are affecting the practice of medicine today (Thursday). Physicians want to be involved in strategic planning and the administrative process so they can be a part of the solution to complex issues."

In response to the resolution, Covenant Health System Chief Executive Officer Melinda Clark says, "I am the third CEO of Covenant Health System in four years. Change of any kind is always difficult."

 The resolution also states doctors' concern over inadequate representation to the board of directors.

Board Chairman David Seim says, "The board and I are pleased with the outcome of the physician meeting and resolution. Ultimately, we all want the same result: the best care for patients. However, I am disappointed that some members of the medical staff chose to communicate through the media rather than directly with the board and administration."

In total 166 doctors voted in favor of this resolution. 60 voted against it. Covenant Health Systems leadership also says it is always open to input and idea. Covenant also says they are excited when doctors want to be part of a solution that will benefit patients.

Covenant Medical Group Physicians
Here is a list of Covenant Medical Group doctors who are impacted by the Blue Cross contract as shown on their website. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to open this file)

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