The Trios Health board may vote Aug. 19 on hiring a consulting firm to prepare a “financial, operational and strategic assessment” of the Kennewick-based public hospital system.
The consulting firm, Quorum Health Resources, would work on a 120-day contract.
The cost would be about $750,000.
The board’s special meeting to consider the proposal is at 5 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Trios Care Center at Southridge, 3730 Plaza Way.
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Marv Kinney, president of the board — officially called the Kennewick Public Hospital District board — said the assessment would act as a road map for the future.
“We’ll see what happens at the meeting” as to whether there’s enough board support, he said.
The board has been discussing bringing in a consulting firm to help reverse Trios’ operational and financial course for months.
An ad hoc committee of three board members developed and sent out a request for proposals for consulting firms.
The committee then narrowed the list of responding firms to two, including Quorum, and recommended those firms come to the full board to make pitches.
The pitches happened in April.
But there was contention over the ad hoc committee process, with some board members saying the committee overstepped its authority by sending out the request for proposals and winnowing the field of firms. They also questioned whether the process violated state open meetings law.
An attorney consulted by the district said the appointment of the committee and most of its work was fine. But he suggested that once a draft request for proposals was developed and firms identified, it would have been prudent for the committee to return that information to the full board.
The attorney said the board could do nothing with the information, restart the process or look to Trios’ CEO to review and make a recommendation about the next step to take.
The board ultimately decided to drop that hiring process, instead eventually asking Quorum to make a new pitch.
The Trios board has seven members. In May, longtime board member Kathy Davidson died unexpectedly.
Gary G. Long, a retired Benton PUD official who spent years on Trios’ finance and planning committees, was appointed in July to fill her seat.