Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Phoebe Putney Health Systems, Inc., File No. D09348 #00007

Submission Number:
Vicki Cherry
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Phoebe Putney Health Systems, Inc., File No. D09348
Matter Number:


I am really saddened by the FTCs agreement to work with Phoebe Putney Hospital. There excellent people working at Phoebe, but the problem is with the administration of Phoebe to include Joel Wernick and his cronies on the board. Many years ago when Mr. Wernick was hired, he was told that his priority was to get rid of the competition, which, of course, was Palmyra Medical Center. Through the years he has underhandedly manage to "bleed" Palmyra dry. There were contracts with local companies for insurance for PPMH in network status, particularly BCBS, which ousted a big portion of Palmyra's revenue. He and his board lied about the need for newborn care in order to shield PPMH from competition with Palmyra. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt when Palmyra's CON was granted for obstetrics, that PPMH's revenue would take a hit. Many people in this town rejoiced over that one. This is a small example of what he had done to this town. Many of the corporations such as Miller Brewry and P&G are unhappy with Phoebe pricing now, they have threatened to close their plants down and relocate. Albany GA is doomed because of your decision to allow PPMH to continue their practices and believe me, Wernick is a shrewd business man that can find the means to do what he wants to despite any regulations you many lay down for him. Yes, I am a former employee of Palmyra Medical Center and proud of it. Like many other former employers, PPMH CLEANED house and many of us were out of jobs, although PPMH promised to take care us. Again, a lie. I really think that no competition is an open invitation for PPMH to completely take over health care in this community. If there is any conflict with a physician, he is black balled by the hospital and privileges are revoked. We need another hospital to help keep Wernick "honest" or as honest as he can be. PLEASE, please, no not allow this merger. Many of the people I have talked to say that writing to you will do no good. I say they are wrong. If nothing else, we are a voice. I pray that you will rethink this situation and allow Albany to live instead of die. Thank you.