Over the past several months, I have read in the pages of Modern Healthcare numerous examples of industry conflicts of interest. In every situation the person at the center of the controversy declares that there is no conflict. This is tantamount to the foxes declaring that their contract to guard the henhouse is not a conflict. Since when does the person in question get to unilaterally declare that the issue is settled? How do these people sleep at night?
Just recently the chief medical officer of Joint Commission Resources, the consulting firm of the Joint Commission, declared that there is a firewall between his people and the nice folks at the commission (If at first they succeed ,). If you believe that, youll believe that thunder clabbers milk. The state of ethics in business in this country is in a sorry shape when cases like this are allowed to exist. My auditing professor in college made it very clear. He said, If there is a perception of conflict of interest, then there is a conflict of interest. That was pretty clear to me in 1971 and it still works for me 36 years later.
Richard AllisonChief executive officer Vibra Specialty Hospital Dallas