Leigh, Memorial exchange barbs

City Councilman Tim Leigh sent an e-mail today calling for the ouster of Memorial Health System leadership and listed a number of things he says show management incompetence.

Memorial board chairman Jim Moore responded by calling Leigh’s points “anonymous rumors and innuendo” but chose not to refute the accusations and instead the hospital would take their concerns directly to the Colorado Springs City Council.

In a written response to Council member Tim Leigh’s “market report,” Memorial board chairman Jim Moore said, “The facts tell a different story.”

“In his email, Mr. Leigh suggests that Memorial has not been honest with Council, questions our decision-making and calls for ousting our CEO Larry McEvoy and COO Carm Moceri. He has not discussed these matters with us.”

Moore says the board fully supports McEvoy and Moceri and the rest of Memorial’s senior leadership team.

“Furthermore, we stand beside the staff and physicians at Memorial, who remain focused on patient care,” he said.

Leigh’s e-mail does more than call for the ouster of McEvoy and Moceri. It questions some of Memorial’s real estate dealings, and claims Memorial will not allow a surgeon’s own first assistants to help out during surgery. He also said Memorial’s emergency department, the busiest in the state, is making a smaller profit than it should.

Leigh said he felt a moral obligation to list problems with Memorial.

“As city councilman … I believe it could be a dereliction of my duty if I didn’t make some stories public, (which if the stories are true), (sic) could be examples of egregious action by the current leadership of MHS that need immediate investigation,” he said.

Leigh prefaces the list by saying that “dozens of physicians” have approached him, saying they don’t buy into Memorial’s plan to employ doctors and grow the hospital.

“They all recount the same basic story – they can’t negotiate with the administration because they will not ‘get with the program’ and they don’t dare ‘go public for fear of reprisal,’” he writes.

He then says “I’ve been told” about memorial’s $3 million investment into space at 4110 Brairgate Parkway, a medical office building that Leigh claims “is still empty,” but Memorial is paying $750,000 annually for rent on the space.

Leigh’s apparently also been told of a “similar situation” at Printer’s Park Medical Plaza, which forced memorial to sell to NV Printers park MOB because of deteriorating financial metrics.

“…in that process, MHS had to sign a very (landlord favored), long-term lease to guaranty the transaction,” he said.

He’s “been told” that MSH restrict ‘first assist” positions. First assistants are people who help surgeons during surgery – handing instruments and things like that.

“I’ve been told that MHS’s program is not part of a nationally recognized protocol,’ he writes. “I’ve been told the program was emplaced (sic) because MHS’s operational process is to employ ‘their’ first assist folks so MHS, (not the surgeon) could collect the billing for them, and to create a barrier for physicians to bring their own first assists to surgery. “

Click here to read Leigh’s email, and here for Moore’s response.