Are We Really in Good Hands?

The outlook for the North Broward Hospital District without Alan Levine is cloudy

Levine says that things have run smoothly with MedAssets and that he wouldn't change a thing. The decision was based on MedAssets' guarantee that it would save NBHD $6 million, he says.

My sources say, anecdotally, that there have been glitches with the MedAssets deal, including higher prices and difficulties getting some supplies, a problem that can be critical at a hospital.

Levine says he doesn't know of any problems arising from the change. "If there were any problems with the MedAssets switch, none of it has bubbled up to my level. It was a no-brainer decision because it saves us money — and the state right now is facing a $2 billion budgetary shortfall."

Adieu: Alan Levine heads to Louisiana.
Adieu: Alan Levine heads to Louisiana.

Levine also says that since there already was a contract with MedAssets as the district's secondary supplier, it wasn't necessary to take bids or get the district board's approval for the change.

I don't agree. A decision regarding $100 million, some of it taxpayers' money, should never be made behind closed doors. I'm hearing that specific problems have arisen in pharmaceuticals and food supply and that some department heads are furious they were not told of the decision before it was made.

Maybe it will turn out well; maybe it won't. But one thing is certain: That contract needs watching, along with the entire district. No matter who's running it.

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