KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Detroit Medical Center President and CEO Resigns

Detroit Medical Center President and CEO Dr. Arthur Porter on Aug. 13 resigned from his position and said he will step down on Sept. 30, the Detroit News reports. According to the News, Porter's resignation "clear[s] the way for a new leader to fashion a major restructuring of the troubled health care system." Porter will remain a consultant to DMC (Hall, Detroit News, 8/14). Porter became president and CEO in 1999 when the health care system faced a deficit of more than $100 million per year. During his tenure, Porter eliminated about 6,000 jobs, sold clinics and consolidated hospitals to improve DMC's financial status (Walsh, Detroit Free Press, 8/14). Despite the reductions, DMC, the area's largest provider of indigent care, has continued to face financial losses. In May, DMC officials announced plans to lay off 1,000 employees, eliminate inpatient services at Detroit Receiving Hospital and reduce services at Hutzel Women's Hospital (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 5/27). However, under an agreement reached in July with Michigan and local governments, DMC will receive $50 million in city, county, state and federal Medicaid matching funds to prevent the planned layoffs and service reductions (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 7/23). A team of DMC officials will immediately begin a search for an interim CEO and plan to have that person in place by Sept. 30, the News reports.

Oversight Committee Members Named
In related news, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano on Aug. 13 appointed two county representatives to a temporary oversight committee established in the DMC funding agreement (Detroit News, 8/14). The committee will review monthly financial reports from DMC and approve payments (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 7/23). Ficano named former DMC executive Juliette Okotie-Eboh and Van Conway, a consultant specializing in reorganizations, to the committee. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick still must appoint members to the committee (Detroit News, 8/14). The News on Aug. 17 examined how the DMC's "finances have eroded slowly during the past eight years, forcing its leaders to make threats of severing care to the city's poor and uninsured" (Hall, Detroit News, 8/17).

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