Despite vocal criticism from a small group of hospital trustees, the American Hospital Association's board last week stuck to its plan to disband the 16-year-old Congress of Hospital Trustees, an AHA membership group.
In its place, the association intends to introduce a series of services and activities aimed at "community health leaders" who may not necessarily belong to local hospital governing boards.
But in response to the criticism, the AHA board agreed to develop a detailed plan on how the association intends to implement its new community leader strategy, said an AHA spokesman. He said the detailed work plan should be completed next month.
The trustee congress is scheduled to hold its last meeting in April.
The association drew the ire of several of the 150 members of the Congress of Hospital Trustees in December, when the AHA board adopted the community leader plan.
Several members accused the AHA of trying to muzzle criticism of association policies by eliminating the membership organization (Jan. 30, p. 18). Some complained about the lack of opportunity to comment on the plan, and others said the plan lacked sufficient detail.
The spokesman acknowledged that the association may have mishandled the communication of the new plan to the rank-and-file trustee members.
Still, the AHA is sticking by its decision to eliminate the congress, he said.
In other association news, the AHA formally announced its plans to sell its liability insurance subsidiary, Health Providers Insurance Co., to MMI Cos. of Deerfield, Ill. (Jan. 30, p. 17). The deal is set to close in April. The price wasn't disclosed.