Ventura Doctors Approve ‘No Confidence’ Vote in Hospital Board Leadership
About 75 doctors attending a meeting last week at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura approved a vote of "no confidence" in the leadership of the hospital board, the Ventura County Star reports (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 7/1). Doctors at the hospital filed a lawsuit on April 24, alleging that hospital administrators tried to influence a staff election in November, adopted an 18-page code of conduct designed to silence opposition, implemented a conflict of interest policy to disqualify certain physicians from leadership positions and illegally allowed physicians to practice at the hospital without first being reviewed by the staff (California Healthline, 6/19). The no confidence vote came after hospital board Chair Philip Drescher asked 150 doctors at the hospital to discuss with board members the two policies at issue in the lawsuit, the Star reports. One of the policies in dispute allows the board to discipline or remove doctors for various violations, including making false or misleading criticisms of the hospital, board or administration. The other policy bans doctors with interests in competing facilities from serving in leadership positions or voting in medical staff elections. Dr. John Hill, leader of the doctors, said that while the vote does not change the board's authority, it shows that the feud is growing. Dr. William Hart, a board member criticized by doctors at the hospital, said that he is "terribly disappointed" by the vote, adding, "This is just a dedicated board of very knowledgeable people. They're dedicated to doing what is best for our [hospital's] mission in this entire community." According to the Star, both sides said that although they are amenable to talks, their suggestions have been rejected. The lawsuit is pending in Ventura County Superior Court (Ventura County Star, 7/1).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.