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‘Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You…’ author kicks off healthcare commission’s traveling ‘transparency tour’

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The “Spotlight Transparency Tour” starts in Tampa on Wednesday June 17 with at least two local hospital executives and Marty Makary, medical doctor and author of “Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care,” slated to address Gov. Rick Scott’s blue ribbon commission.

Makary, associate professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, will address the Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding for 90 minutes, according to a draft copy of the agenda. Carlos Beruff asked at a May 26, meeting that the commission members be given a copy of the 2013 book.

Scott announced in a press release that the nine-member commission he appointed in May would begin a statewide transparency tour and that in each city the commission will invite the “lowest and highest performing hospitals” to prevent detailed information on their costs, profits and patient outcomes.

To that end, commission members, Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek and Department of Health Secretary John Armstrong, invited two hospitals from the greater Tampa area to make presentations before the board.

Armstrong asked Tampa General Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Burkhart to provide an “initial snapshot” of the facility, including the number of admissions, case mix, length of stay, emergency department visits, total margin, and average cost per patient. He also asked for Burkhart to provide a review of the hospital’s  “operational efficiencies, quality measurement, use of state-supported public funding, and performance-based executive salaries/compensation.”

Dudek sent similar correspondence to Morton Mease President Kris Hoce. Dudek said the commission “would hope to hear about the manner in which the hospital achieves efficiencies in operation, how quality is measured, how any supplemental funding is utilized, information about the executive salary/ compensation and how it may relate to the efficiencies/outcomes realized.

According to its website, Morton Plant Mease Hospital was founded in 1916 and has 687 beds. In 2014 the hospital treated 80,208 emergency visits, had 24,194 discharges, performed 10,301 outpatient surgeries and had more than 2.34 million outpatient tests.

It is part of the BayCare network, which includes 13 hospitals, four ambulatory surgical centers, seven urgent care facilities and more than 3,100 physicians.

The draft agenda shows that the meeting is expected to start with Tampa General Hospital addressing the commission at 8:15 a.m. Morton Plant Mease and the third hospital will address the commission after Makary.

Tampa General Hospital, according to its website, is licensed for more than 1,000 beds and is the primary teaching affiliate of the University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine.

The commission is meeting at the University of South Florida Patel Center for Global Solutions auditorium. The “transparency tour” continues in Jacksonville on June 29 and Miami on July 13.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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