With a new chief executive and primed for a fresh start, the Carolinas HealthCare System board of commissioners met behind closed doors for about five hours Tuesday to discuss plans for the $9 billion public nonprofit health care system.
At the Duke Mansion gathering, board chairman Edward Brown declared the day’s intention to take a “deep dive into our competitive strategies for the future.”
Brown cautioned the 37 board members and staff in attendance that the information shared “is going to be highly confidential, not to be shared outside this room.”
An Observer reporter, who regularly attends the public system’s board meetings, had objected in writing to the board’s plans to hold the meeting in private. But she agreed to leave after Keith Smith, the system’s general counsel, read a list of North Carolina laws that permit the public body to hold private meetings to discuss privileged, confidential and competitive health care information and to consult with attorneys. “There are statutory bases for going into closed session,” Smith said.
The board met from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with portions of the meeting open to the public, but most of it closed. Agenda topics included “Assessing CHS’s Current Competitive Situation and Activities” and “Small Group Discussions on Competitive Strategies and Models.”
Gene Woods, who replaced Michael Tarwater as CEO in May, told the Observer recently that he looked forward to the special board meeting to talk about the system’s future. After more than 120 days on the job, Woods said: “I think we’re at a point of reinvention.”