Community Hospitals of Indianapolis is revamping its governance in light of the recent breakup of its network and resignation of the facility's board chairman.
Community plans to hire a consultant and include more board members in the planning and development of its new ventures. Last month, the boards of 822-bed Community and 836-bed St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center decided to dissolve their healthcare network after being unable to settle on a leadership structure (Feb. 5, p. 8).
"Anytime you have a major change in direction you have to step back and refocus," said Community's president and chief executive officer, William Corley. "While we're doing that, we decided to get an outsider's point of view."
The St. Vincent-Community breakup came nearly two years after the hospitals' joint operating agreement was approved by the Justice Department.
The board plans to involve more trustees by reallocating power of various committees away from the executive committee, which had controlled planning. The new governance also will have a managed-care committee and a strategic planning committee.
Roy Nicholson, the new chairman of Community's board, said that Community is likely to partner with another hospital by the end of the year. Executives wouldn't comment on potential partners.
However, Nicholson said the board will make leadership issues a primary concern this time.
"We will be asking ourselves and potential partners some harder questions that we didn't the last time," Nicholson said.
Among the issues that apparently led to the demise of the consolidation plan was a battle over who would control the new organization.
"There's only one CEO in my company, and I can't see it any other way," Nicholson added.
The board also will consider paying board members and require that they disclose all personal business and financial dealings.
Larry Pitts resigned last month as board chairman the same day his business, Trust Investment Advisors, lost a bid to manage $25 million of Community's assets (Feb. 19, p. 16).
"I don't know if I'm going to push this pay issue really hard," Nicholson said, "but we do have board members who are physicians and the money stops coming in when they are taking time to spend with us."