Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Phoebe Putney Health Systems, Inc., File No. D09348
I have withheld my name to avoid possible recriminations from Phoebe. As an independent healthcare provider in Albany, I want to take this opportunity to ask the Commission to reconsider allowing Phoebe to maintain its monopoly. As I understand it, the CON problem may not be insurmountable. In fact, it is my understanding that the two hospitals and their certificates of need were consolidated without any opportunity for public commentary or opposition. I don't know the legality of this, but at the very least it seems to break with the standard process. This certainly causes some of us to question the legitimacy of the consolidation. That notwithstanding, the importance of real competition in acute hospital care in this region cannot be overstated. Patients, industry, hospital employees, and independent healthcare providers desperately need an alternative facility to which to escape when Phoebe's administration becomes tyrannical, which they have done with some regularity through the years. They have, in recent history, accumulated enough money and influence to run this town. They will attempt to ruin anyone they view as an enemy, and they have been successful in the past. The problem is even worse now that they have their monopoly. To wit, Palmyra (now Phoebe North) itself has been deeply crippled and rendered completely nonfunctional in a few capacities since Phoebe took over. There is a slow, steady exodus of skilled healthcare providers from both hospitals which results primarily, in my opinion, from Phoebe's treatment. Many, if not most, of those skilled people are lost to the patients and other providers in this area who used to be able to look to them for care and help. I implore the Commission to restore Phoebe's competition. I pray it is possible.