MCG merger of managers up for vote

Medical College of Georgia, its health system and its physicians should all be integrated into a new management system by the end of the month if the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approves the new management structure Wednesday. The move would put control back into the hands of MCG's president.

The agreements would tentatively be signed July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year and the first day on the job for new president Dr. Ricardo Azziz, said regent Felton Jenkins, who has been chairman of the ad hoc committee hashing out the new arrangement.

"We think it gives the president ... more authority over the entire operation," Jenkins said.

MCG Health Inc., the nonprofit company that has been operating the hospital and clinics for 10 years, will continue to lease and operate the health system. But now it will form a new nonprofit operating company, MCG Health System Inc., with Azziz as chairman and CEO. The company would have a board similar to MCG Health Inc.'s, with:

- The MCG president

- the CEO of MCG Health Inc.

- the dean of the School of Medicine

- four from the Board of Regents

- the university system chancellor

- an official from Physicians Practice Group, which represents the school's physicians, or its foundation

- three designees from the governor of Georgia

- three appointees from the MCG president

- a nonvoting faculty member nominated by the University Faculty Senate

MCG Health Inc.'s board would be reformed to include the MCG president as its chairman and the CEOs of MCG Health Inc. and Physicians Practice Group. There would be three board members nominated by the MCG president and approved by the Health System board, and three more nominated by the Health System board.

There will be a joint operating agreement among the three entities, and the MCG president will appoint a management group with senior leaders from all three.

The MCG president would do performance reviews of the MCG Health Inc. CEO and could recommend hiring or firing but would need approval by the MCG Health Inc. board.

The president would also have to approve the CEO of PPG.

The MCG president and the new Health System board would need to approve all strategic plans, budgets and contracts among the entities.

Almost from its inception, MCG Health Inc., the school and PPG fought internecine wars over how much the health system would pay for various services.

"Now we think we have eliminated that possibility for any sort of conflicts or disputes because we've got the president of the Medical College of Georgia as the president of the college and also chairman and CEO of (the new management company)," Jenkins said.

The new structure would be much more "integrated," which Jenkins acknowledged is kind of a "buzzword that people in the academic medical center community use."

If approved Wednesday by the regents, the new structure would still need approval by MCG Health Inc. and PPG.

"But we've had good conversations with all of them, and we expect full approval by them," Jenkins said.

When's the Vote?

Restructuring the governance of Medical College of Georgia and its health system is the first big item Wednesday before the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

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