The embattled Broward Health system remains in the headlines.
Broward paid two top executives handsome severance packages that included written promises that neither would speak disparagingly of their former employer.
While confidentiality agreements and hefty termination deals are relatively normal occurrences in professional workplaces, Broward Health Acting CEO Kevin Fusco's agreements with former employees were outside of his authority, according to the Florida Bulldog, a not-for-profit investigative journalism organization that has been following the trouble at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based system.
Fusco took over a few days after former CEO Nabil El Sanadi committed suicide in January. Since El Sanadi's death, the Florida Bulldog has uncovered two investigations, one federal and the other state, into possible corruption at Broward Health and its five medical centers and hospitals. The investigations were revealed after a private investigator came forward with e-mails showing he had been hired by the system and was meeting with El Sanadi in discrete locations to discuss the investigator's findings.
The latest news that Fusco signed off on deals that totaled $937,000 for terminating Broward Chief Financial Officer Robert Martin, who criticized a $71.4 million no-bid advertising contract and also criticized Broward Health Medical Center CEO Calvin Glidewell, comes the same week as Moody's Investors Service downgraded the system's bond rating.
Moody's cited the changing leadership, increasing scrutiny on the system and losses suffered from a recent settlement as prompting the downgrade. In September, the system agreed to pay the government almost $70 million to settle allegations it illegally paid doctors for referrals.
The Sun Sentinel reported that Broward Health's chairman on Wednesday sent an e-mail to all employees asking them to report wrongdoing directly to the state and federal agencies conducting the external investigations. He assured them that they could do so without reprimand and without informing their supervisors.
Broward reported total revenue of $1.2 billion in 2014, according to Modern Healthcare's financial database.