For years, the residents of Kent County have been fighting against what they fear are the University of Maryland Medical System’s plans to close or severely downgrade their hospital, formerly known as the Chester River Hospital Center before its 2008 merger with UMMS. Kent County has the smallest population of any jurisdiction in Maryland, and many rural hospitals across the nation are facing a similar plight. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun video)

Does anyone really believe that corruption on hospital boards in Baltimore and Maryland is limited to University of Maryland Medical System (“UMMS adopts new conflict-of-interest policy for board members, will bar board leaders from having contracts,” May 31)? I feel confident in stating that this is a systemic problem for medical institutions receiving government money as well as money from insurers and private patients.

The relationships between the boards and administrators are too close and require oversight so that corruption is eliminated and out-of-control costs kept down. Auditors need to carefully check all hospital financial records. Hospital board members need to rein in the bloated salaries of all administrators. A timeline needs to be devised with specific goals which should be made available to the public. Boards that operate in secrecy are doing so for a reason.

Advertisement

The state of Maryland should establish a panel to deal with corruption in the delivery of health care services to the public. I feel that this is a health care crisis. Money misspent could have been used for better purposes. Boards should be more representative of local populations and they should realize that they need to be held accountable. Religiously affiliated hospitals need to be held to the same or higher standard.

It's time to clear house and get rid of the bad actors. Self-appointed civic leaders need to be put on notice that they have created these problems and they will be held accountable. We need to right the ship of hospital care in Maryland. We will be watching and we will expect significant change from every hospital board in the state. The health and welfare of Maryland citizens depend on a revolution in the thinking regarding hospital administration and oversight.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement