BRH board chooses to stay with Quorum

The Bartlett Regional Hospital Board of Directors wants to stick with Quorum Health Resources as the management provider for Juneau’s city-owned hospital facility. But members have a backup plan if an agreement with the company can’t be reached.

The board voted unanimously last night (Tuesday) to enter into contract negotiations with Quorum, the hospital’s management services and supply purchasing provider for the past 23 years. If those negotiations break down, the board will turn to another management provider – PeaceHealth.

Quorum, PeaceHealth and Alliant Management Services were the three finalists that responded to a request for proposals issued by the board. It’s the first time in 14 years that the management contract has been put out to bid.

The decision to stay with Quorum came after two consecutive nights of meetings, including presentations on Monday by all three finalists, and more than five hours of talks in executive session.

Board member Robert Storer led a committee that put together the RFP and communicated with potential bidders. He thanked the board for its hard work, and the handful of hospital employees who attended both nights of deliberations.

“I hope the message that you all get out of this is that we took our responsibility very, very seriously. It’s very important, and hence the long discussions,” said Storer.

The next step will be negotiating the details of a new contract with Quorum. Under its current deal the company hires the Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officers for the hospital. During the presentations on Monday there was some talk of the board filling those positions.

Quorum is paid between 350- and 400-thousand dollars a year for management services. The actual amount is tied to the Consumer Price Index. The current contract expires at the end of the year.

Bartlett Regional Hospital is owned by the City and Borough of Juneau. The board is appointed by the CBJ Assembly, which will ultimately need to approve the contract.