NCH CEO responds to concerns from the community about controversial policy

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Signs claim NCH denies patients the right to choose their own physician. Photo via WINK News.
Signs claim NCH denies patients the right to choose their own physician. Photo via WINK News.

For the first time since Naples Community Hospital told you that only their doctors can care for you in their new hospital, we are hearing from the man behind the controversial policy.

MORE: NCH patients not happy with new program limiting choices of physicians

Allen Weiss is the president and CEO of NCH and he says his new patient-physician program had good results during pilot tests this summer.

“Patients benefit tremendously by decreasing their chances of having a complication while there in the hospital, so when they spend one day less in the hospital they don’t fall out of bed that last day, they don’t get a pressure sore,” he said. “So helping them get better faster and well and not come back to the hospital is the big benefit and that’s our overall goal.”

The policy allows only NCH “hospitalists” to admit patients, give medical orders or add notes to the patient’s records. One of the concerns some perople in the community have is that they’d have to leave their primary care doctor at the door.

“We’re not shutting out independent doctors were inviting them to come in,” Weiss said. “We want them to come in and work with the hospitalists directly, so I think the idea of getting people working together, partnering, collaborating with the patients interest as the common goal will help everybody.”

Just last week, former board of trustee members told WINK News they feel that Weiss created the new policy for money. We asked Weiss about this claim.

“I’ve gotten mixed reviews, everything from ‘stay the course’ to ‘we’re very concerned and upset,’ but I think as we share this message that we’re getting better care for everyone,” Weiss said. “Everyone will benefit and I think folks when they keep an open mind and see what’s actually happening and look at the objective measures I think we’re going to see that people in this community will get over this communication misunderstanding.”

The hospital says this new policy will reduce length of stay as well as related complications.

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