Assembly Committee Considers Bill To Limit Severance Packages for Alameda County Medical Center Administrators
The Assembly Local Government Committee on Wednesday was scheduled to hold a hearing on a bill (AB 2630) that would limit severance packages for administrators at Alameda County Medical Center, which has terminated contracts with nine CEOs in 10 years, the Oakland Tribune reports. Under the bill, administrators at the medical center would be entitled to a maximum of 18 months of severance pay, the same amount county employees can draw. Assembly member Loni Hancock (D-El Cerrito) introduced the bill in response to a $490,000 severance package given last September to Kenneth Cohen, who served as the hospital's CEO for about two years before being fired during a dispute with the county Board of Supervisors about the hospital system's direction and financial management. If the bill had been in effect when Cohen was fired, the medical center could have saved $112,000, which Hancock said could have gone toward paying salaries for some full-time registered nurses, accountants and housekeepers affected by a plan to eliminate about 340 staff positions, which the medical center board of trustees approved Monday. Efton Hall, the hospital system's interim CEO, also was laid off Monday, and trustees put consulting firm Cambio Health Solutions in charge of administrative duties and the search for a new CEO. ACMC trustees have not yet devised a severance package. Hancock said that the bill is necessary because county voters in March approved a half-cent sales tax to underwrite the hospital system but remain concerned "over the size of the settlement" with Cohen and ACMC's budget deficit (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 4/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.