Doc says Phoebe still keeping secrets -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Doc says Phoebe still keeping secrets

July 27, 2005

Albany-- An Albany doctor says Phoebe Putney hospital is still hiding details about an off shore account.

For months, Albany Physician Dr. Charles Gebhardt has asked the hospital board to audit Phoebe's offshore insurance company, Grove Pointe Indemnity.

Then a former Grove Pointe accountant, and Dr. John Bagnato, brought up concerns they too had with the offshore arm of Phoebe, including luxurious travel expenses.

A committee including Dr. Gebhardt was appointed to review the complaints. Auditing firm KPMG told the committee everything was legit.

The accountant from KPMG later told Gephardt that he [the accountant] had misrepresented information to the task force and there were some problems.

Gebhardt says he told task force leaders not to send out a letters saying the allegations had no merit. But the letter was sent to doctors and staff anyway.

"This behavior of what appears to be misinformation, covering up, and putting out information to the public that they know to be wrong is very suspicious," said Dr. Gebhardt. "If they had gone forward with the audit as they said they were going to go, I was ready to say 'OK, lets get this audit done,' but then to steer things, misrepresent and prevent an effective audit just raises serious questions."

Tuesday night, the Dougherty County Medical Society voted to demand an independent, forensic audit of Grove Pointe, and a review of any travel expense regarding the company.

Lem Griffin, the chairman of the health system board, says he'll take the request to the board. But he stands by the task force findings that everything is legit with Grove Pointe.


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