The board of Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, is expected to vote Nov. 2 on a policy that will give preference to vendors that offer health insurance to employees, all other contract considerations being more or less equal. Under the policy, the five-hospital, not-for-profit system might spend slightly more to do business with vendors that provide health benefits, said Anne Streeter, the systems spokeswoman. Baptist Health South also would favor local vendors in contract awards. A subcommittee has recommended the full board approve the policy at its regularly scheduled meeting.
Streeter said Baptist Health South wants to make a statement about the problem of the uninsured. When possible, we want to reward those companies that believe, as we do, that we should be taking care of our employees, she said. At deadline, the annual value of the systems vendor contracts wasnt available, Streeter said. According to unaudited financial statements, the system spent $149 million on supplies, or 15% of its overall expenses in the first nine months of 2006. -- by Melanie Evans