Lee Health board to vote June 13 on business structure conversion measure

Author: Therese McDevitt, Gulfshore Business
Published: Updated:

When the Lee Health board of directors gather for a special meeting this week, they are expected to vote to approve a new business structure for the health care system, converting it from a public nonprofit to a private nonprofit. This could mean some major changes in how it operates and how health care is delivered in Lee County. 

A “yes” vote from the board at the meeting scheduled for June 13 will start the clock on 120 days for the Lee County Board of County Commissioners to decide whether to accept the recommendation and enter into a binding mission agreement with Lee Health to operate under the new structure. Commissioners would have until mid-October to make its decision. 

The citizens of Lee County own and operate Lee Health through the board of directors, serving as the “safety net” hospital system for the uninsured and others unable to pay. Last year, it provided $150 million in charity care/community benefit. The system, which currently has a $3 billion operating budget, maintains the safety net provision would remain in effect in perpetuity in the case of a conversion to a private nonprofit structure and that this would be codified in the final agreement with the county. 

A transition to a nonelected board not subject to state’s Sunshine Law requiring public meetings and public records of meetings leads to questions about how a planned oversight committee would provide accountability to the citizens of Lee County. 

To read more at Gulfshore Business, click here. 

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.