Back in the spring of 2008 times were tough for Franklin Regional Medical Center.
The community hospital, owned at the time by Florida-based Health Management Associates, was attempting to relocate away from the poor and elderly residents of Franklin County and closer to the relatively prosperous — and well-insured — patients of northern Wake County.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services was threatening the hospital’s funding after an investigation into the death of a 76-year-old patient. CMS said patients were in immediate jeopardy at the facility.
And even after the initial CMS warning, here’s what a second federal investigation found:
Patients were given anesthesia without proper oversight. There was no documentation that 37 different patient complaints over a three-month period had been addressed. Restraints were used improperly. The nursing staff was disorganized and did not always follow the orders of physicians. Medical records were a mess, and the building was in disrepair, according to the CMS review.
Not surprisingly, the CEO overseeing this disaster, Brian Gwyn, was promptly removed from his job and transferred by HMA to an “unspecified post” within the company. Hospital and company spokespersons refused to tell anyone where Gwyn landed.
One would assume that after presiding over the downfall of a hospital and endangering patients, Gwyn would never work in health care again, at least not in a position of authority. So it comes as quite a shock that Gwyn was recently hired by Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System.
Not only was Gwyn hired, he was hired to actually run a hospital. He is the new CEO of Cleveland Regional Medical Center in Shelby, North Carolina.
The press release didn’t mention Gwyn’s most recent CEO position. It only mentions that he has 15 years of experience including “leadership positions” in Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas.
It is unbelievable that Gwyn could get such a critical job with his history. Carolinas owes the people of Cleveland County an explanation. And hopefully the hospital system will keep a close watch to ensure that the quality of this important facility remains top notch.