The latest developments are:
- The current acting Governor of the state just issued an executive order requiring top officials of all New Jersey state colleges and universities to list their employment history and financial ties to other organizations, and to resign if they continue to be "employed, [are] receiving compensation from, or own or control more than one percent of profits or assets of a firm, association or partnership doing business with the college or university." (See the article in Newsday.) This standard is tougher than many commonly in place at state and private universities, which commonly only require leaders with conflicts to recuse themselves from decisions involving the entities involved in such conflicts.
- Meanwhile, the FBI raided the UMDNJ administrative offices, and wound up "taking computer hard drives belonging to at least a half-dozen top administrators, including the current and former presidents...." "Terminals belonging to UMDNJ President John Petillo, former president Stuart Cook, and vice president for legal management Vivian Sanks-King were among those searched...." "Investigators also seized information from computers used by University Hospital administrators, including James Lawler, the hospital's chief financial officer." "The raid was the fourth time UMDNJ has been subpoenased by federal investigators in recent months." (See the article in the Newark Star-Ledger.)
Clearly, health care leaders who may be thinking more of their personal business and political interests than the mission of their health care institution are unlikely to be effective in pursuing that mission. Once again, until we ensure that health care organizations' governance is representative, accountable, transparent, and ethical, we will not get accessible, fairly priced, high-quality health care.
And such a revolution in health care will only be achieved by grass-roots action, by physicians and other health care professionals, and ultimately by the public. Bad leaders will not reform themselves.