Former NCH board members urge hospital to reconsider patient policy

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

With a new policy, Naples Community Hospital would have its doctors assume care of patients once they have been admitted, eliminating primary care providers from seeing patients at the hospital.

NCH said it’s better for patients, but former hospital board members disagree and said it is not. They are concerned by the new policy and believe it’s less about patient care and more about control. They said it will end up costing the community as a whole.

“To [Allen Weiss] it’s a satisfactory program,” said Bob Stucker, former board chairman at NCH. “But for the community this is not what they want, and that’s why they overwhelmingly rejected it.”

Weiss, president and CEO of the hospital, wants to implement the program.

“He doesn’t care about losing doctors, high quality doctors or donations,” Stucker said. “Because now he’d get the revenue for 20,000 people, and it gives him the control, which is an important aspect of what he wants to have.”

NCH started the pilot program this summer and said patients are having a better experience and shorter lengths of stay.

Another form board member, John Morrison, is doubtful.

“This isn’t a case of trying to be better for patients,” Morrison said. “This is a case where we’re driving doctors out, driving patients out and not providing the type of health care that they want.”

Weiss did not respond when WINK News contacted him to ask about his stance on the controversial policy since hearing the outcry from the public during a Wednesday Naples City Council meeting.

There is a hospital board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 11. Previous members are asking the current board to take more time to think about the policy in order for them to make an informed decision.

John Allen, the chairmen of the Community School of Naples, said more research is needed, and hospital leaders can hit pause on the drastic change.

“I believe that board needs to take the step to bring in an independent assessor to determine what the overall culture of that hospital is,” Allen said.


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