I have followed with interest MODERN HEALTHCARE's continuing articles on the Internal Revenue Service's settlement with Hermann Hospital in Houston (Oct. 24, p. 2). Because I was terminated in December 1991 and was not apprised of any of the specific details surrounding the IRS investigation, I cannot comment on the validity of any of the claims. However, I am sorely disappointed in your implications that I was responsible for improprieties at Hermann. In your Nov. 28 editorial (p. 33), you blatantly attributed the difficulties at Hermann to me.
To set the record straight, I was executive vice president and chief operating officer at Hermann from November 1989 to Sept. 1, 1991, reporting to President and Chief Executive Officer Jeptha Dalston. I assumed the presidency in September 1991 and served until my termination on Dec. 16, 1991. All contracts, negotiations, etc., undertaken by me during my tenure as COO were reviewed and approved by the president, in-house legal counsel and board of trustees. After my termination, Walter Mischer Jr., chairman of the board, assumed the presidency and was responsible for all operations.
In the future, I ask that if you are investigating a story regarding my performance or actions you allow me the courtesy of responding to any accusations. I take full responsibility for any physician contracts negotiated during my tenure as president of Hermann. The hospital was virtually bankrupt upon my arrival in 1989. Through hard work and a dedicated staff, the hospital was financially viable when I left.
HARRY M. NEER
Principal, The Rockport Group