Supplemental Certification of James A. Pfeiffer
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
I, JAMES A. PFEIFFER, being first duly sworn depose and say as follows:
1. I am the President of Mease Hospital, Inc.
2. This Supplemental Certification incorporates all my prior statements in the Certification entitled "Certification of James A. Pfeiffer" ("Initial Certification") dated September 11, 2000.
3. This Supplemental Certification is filed pursuant to the request of the United States Department of Justice for further clarification regarding possible violations of the Final Consent Judgment ("FCJ") disclosed in the Initial Certification.
4. Discussions concerning marketing and planning with respect to services other than those referred to in Section II(A) of the FCJ that occurred during Morton Plant Mease Health Care ("MPMHC") Board of Directors meetings are reflected in board minutes previously provided to the Department of Justice and Florida Attorney General. These include:
The identity of those present at these meetings, and the ultimate action taken on these issues by the Board or Committee, is located within each of the board minutes referenced above, previously disclosed to the Department of Justice, and the Florida Attorney General.
5. In addition, I am aware of the following possible violations of the FCJ pertaining to Mease and relating to marketing or planning of services other than those listed in Section II(A) of the FCJ: I am aware of Morton Plant Mease managerial personnel who had managerial responsibilities ai the hospital level including marketing and planning of services other man those listed in Section II(A) of the FCJ. This occurred throughout the period covered by the FCJ until the process was reorganized in August, 2000 as described below. Each of these individuals assisted in marketing and planning for specific service lines at both Morton Plant and Mease hospitals. These individuals (and their titles at the time) are as follows:
In each of these areas, Mease engaged in its own separate decisions regarding marketing and planning. However, these individuals provided support on these issues at both Morton Plant and Mease. Moreover, on a number of occasions marketing or planning activities were either coordinated with respect to particular service lines or confidentiality was not preserved as between Morton Plant and Mease. This was true of cardiology and cancer care (from 1994- until early 2000). A number of pieces of promotional literature were used throughout the period at both Morton Plant and Mease. Additionally, MPMHC physician committees existed with respect to cancer (from November 1997 until late 1999) and cardiology (from 1994 until early 2000). These committees addressed medical issues, but also from time to tune provided input wiih respect to marketing and/or planning issues.
6. I am aware of the following possible violations of the FCJ that have occurred since entry of the Enforcement Order:
7. Prior to the establishment of the Compliance Committee and implementation of new procedures, some possible violations concerning charges for services occurred:
None of these items relates to managed care pricing. Very few patients pay charges. I believe that the possible violations were limited to the above based on (a) a comparison of Morton Plant and Mease charges conducted by counsel, (b) the interviews conducted for the Compliance Committee and (c) the fact that overall charge levels were set independency by Mease each year, without any knowledge of the actions (if any) taken by Morum Plant.
8. The Morton Plant Mease Board Finance Committee and Medical Equipment Committee recommended major capital expenditures by Morton Plant and Mease throughout the period covered by the FCJ until August 2000. Additionally, approval of operating budgets for MPMHC, Morton Plant and Mease occurred through a budgetary process including recommendations by the MPMHC Finance Committee. Final decisions were made in each case by the applicable entity. While Morton Plant and Mease initially developed their own budgets, and made their own budget determinations regarding volume and service issues, these issues were discussed from time to time in the budget recommendation process. As a result, some discussions occurred as pan of the coordinated budget process that may have implicated marketing or planning issues. There are no specific records of such discussions, and therefore I cannot be precise as to any specific discussions or when they occurred.
9. Certain community education activities were undertaken by MPMHC. This included the MPMHC Health Education Center and women's and children's education (which involved education about prenatal cure). While these activities were not labeled as marketing, and served the mission of MPMHC to improve health and benefit the community, they could be viewed as having as one purpose or effect marketing benefits.
10. I became aware of these possible violations in the following manner. In order to determine the extent and limits of possible violations, several procedures occurred. All personnel with management responsibility concerning marketing, planning, charges, or particular patient care services at Morton Plant, Mease, and Morton Plain Mease were interviewed by counsel. All personnel employed by these entities who were involved in managed care contracting were also interviewed by counsel. Board and board committee minutes previously produced to the Department of Justice and the State of Florida were reviewed, as were a sampling of minutes and agendas for other committees. Additionally, a file search was performed of management personnel with responsibility for overall management of Morton Plant or North Bay hospitals, Mease hospitals or Morton Plant Mease, or with management responsibility for marketing, planning, key finance functions, or major patient care services. Files containing information relating to charges were specifically examined. Any suspected violations that were uncovered were investigated as necessary through further interviews. The results of this investigation were reported to the Mease Compliance Committee.
11. I was aware of the matters referred to in ¶¶ 4b, d, e, g, and h, 5, 6, 7b, c, d and f, 8 and 9 at the time these activities were occurring. I was not aware of the other items listed above until I learned of these occurrences alter compliance reports from counsel. I was not aware that these activities were potential violations of the FCJ until counsel instructed us otherwise as part of the compliance review described above, and the detailed training sessions described below.
12. Mease has taken a number of steps to assure that violations will not occur in the future. Separate training sessions have been held with the boards at each hospital and Morton Plant Mease, senior management of each entity, lower level management of each entity, and all personnel with responsibility for managed care contrasting, to provide them with a better understanding of the requirements of the FCJ and Enforcement Order, to explain the nature of past violations, so that they would not recur, and to establish a different process and structure going forward. Multiple meetings were held with personnel with responsibilities including marketing or planning, with Board leadership and with senior management. Staff members have been encouraged to ask questions of counsel if they have any uncertainty about the requirements for compliance with the FCJ.
13. The personnel who previously had management responsibility including marketing or planning and were employees of Morton Plant Mease now are employees of only either Morion Plant or Mease, with their reporting and other responsibilities limited to that entity, except with respect to certain services referred to in Section II(A) of the FCJ. No BayCare personnel have any responsibility for marketing or planning with respect to Mease, with such exceptions. Each of these persons has received training on the requirements of the FCJ and Enforcement Order, both in a large group, in small group sessions, and (in many cases) in numerous one on one discussions with counsel. Each has signed or has received and will shortly be signing a confidentiality agreement or agreements to further assure future compliance.
14. All promotional materials have been edited or eliminated so that services not referred to in Section II(A) of the FCJ are not being marketed through these materials by Morton Plant Mease.
15. The Morton Plant Mease, Morton Plant and Mease Bylaws have been amended and/or Board resolutions have been approved, to eliminate any role for the Morton Plant Mease Community Affairs Committee relating to marketing or planning; to eliminate any delegation of functions by Morton Plant or Mease to the Morton Plant Mease Finance Committee; and to prohibit any involvement by the Morton Plant Mease board in managed care, pricing, marketing or planning, except as permitted by the FCJ. The Morton Plant Mease Finance Committee and Medical Equipment Committee no longer review capital expenditures relating to non-partnership services. The Morton Plant Mease Finance Committee is no longer involved in recommending operating budgets for Morton Plant and Mease, and the Morton Plant and Mease operating budgets are established and reviewed on an entirely separate basis for each hospital, and by each hospital's board.
16. Public education activities have been separated out, so that they are being conducted by Morton Plant and/or Mease (separately and individually), and not by MPMHC.
17. Any joint physician committees are now foregoing any discussion or comment regarding marketing or planning issues.
18. A process has been established whereby counsel reviews the agendas of each of the three boards prior to each meeting to assure that inappropriate matters are not discussed.
19. All Morton Plant Mease personnel who bad previously had managerial responsibility including marketing or planning havo been instructed to purge their tiles of any materials relating to marketing or planning with respect to the entity for which they will have no longer have responsibilities.
20. All personnel with responsibility for recommending charges have been instructed that they cannot be involved in decisions regarding, or possess information concerning, charges at both Morton Plant and Mease.
21. Confidentiality Agreements have been prepared, approved, circulated and have been or are now being signed to assure that marketing, planning, pricing and managed care information will be kept highly confidential as between Morton Plant and Mease.
22. All other steps specifically required by the Court's Enforcement Order, including training and circulation of documents, have been followed.
23. I do not believe that any of the possible violations discussed above caused any anticompetitive harm. Very few patients pay charges, and I do not believe that any of the actions described above resulted in charges above competitive levels. According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration date, Morton Plant and each Mease hospital in 1999 bad gross revennes per adjusted admissions (based on charges) lower than all but one Pinellas County hospital, and (in each case) more than 25% below the county-wide average. I believe that all Mease charges and prices are competitive; no payor has sought to rescind any contract when provided with that opportunity pursuant to the Enforcement Order. I do not believe that any of the actions described above were undertaken in order to harm anyone; Mease has consistently acted in order to provide the best care at the lowest cost.
FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NOT.
Subscribed and sworn to before me