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Luis Hospital Board Still Pondering Management Restructuring

The directors of the Juan F. Luis Hospital on Wednesday directed CEO Jeff Nelson to continue planning for a way to steer the hospital out of its economic quagmire.

The action came during the hospital’s regular board meeting Wednesday night.

At its September meeting, Nelson had recommended that in the face of the hospital’s staggering $27 million debt, the board should pursue creating a for-profit management company that would be able to attract potential capital.

Under Nelson’s proposal, the hospital would remain a government-owned, not-for-profit facility, but it would be contracted to a for-profit management company including local administrators, staff and physicians.

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While the hospital’s board supported the recommendation, the territorial board would not discuss it at its meeting earlier this month. That body said it needed any such proposal to be submitted in writing with enough lead time for members to consider it.

Wednesday’s action means the hospital is still considering the proposal as a possible way to deal with the huge debt. The next meeting of the territorial board is slated for December, but Nelson said Wednesday that JFL officials are hoping for a more timely discussion of the situation.

"We’ll be requesting a meeting sooner than that," he said.

In other action, the board voted to back the Medical Executive Committee, which is opposing two bills coming before the Senate’s Committee on Health and Hospital. The bills, 29-0093 and 29-0152, propose changes to the territory’s medical malpractice system.

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The directors of the Juan F. Luis Hospital on Wednesday directed CEO Jeff Nelson to continue planning for a way to steer the hospital out of its economic quagmire.

The action came during the hospital's regular board meeting Wednesday night.

At its September meeting, Nelson had recommended that in the face of the hospital's staggering $27 million debt, the board should pursue creating a for-profit management company that would be able to attract potential capital.

Under Nelson's proposal, the hospital would remain a government-owned, not-for-profit facility, but it would be contracted to a for-profit management company including local administrators, staff and physicians.

While the hospital's board supported the recommendation, the territorial board would not discuss it at its meeting earlier this month. That body said it needed any such proposal to be submitted in writing with enough lead time for members to consider it.

Wednesday's action means the hospital is still considering the proposal as a possible way to deal with the huge debt. The next meeting of the territorial board is slated for December, but Nelson said Wednesday that JFL officials are hoping for a more timely discussion of the situation.

"We'll be requesting a meeting sooner than that," he said.

In other action, the board voted to back the Medical Executive Committee, which is opposing two bills coming before the Senate's Committee on Health and Hospital. The bills, 29-0093 and 29-0152, propose changes to the territory's medical malpractice system.