Read the Letter From President Martha Baker, RN, to Community Leaders Regarding Jackson/UM AOA

Today, Martha Baker, RN, presented to the Healthcare Committee of the County Commission important information regarding the due diligence that we believe must be performed on the Jackson/UM Annual Operation Agreement before it is approved. Below is a letter being sent to our leaders along with important documents that will help those in charge properly analyze the new Jackson/UM agreement and ask the right questions…

Dear Commissioners, Jackson Financial Recovery Board Members, Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation and Community Leaders:

This is an important letter.

The 5,000 SEIU doctors, nurses and healthcare providers at Jackson understand the importance of a continuing balanced relationship between the Jackson and University of Miami; however, striking that balanced relationship must be negotiated with due diligence and fairness. We want to assure that there is full disclosure before the UM and Jackson Annual Operating Agreement (AOA) is finalized. We are not sure that is happening.

To that end, we share an attached due diligence checklist that was developed by hospital experts to assure that our Public Health Trust negotiators, Financial Recovery Board members, staff, as well as the County Commissioners are fully informed.  Our community cannot afford another Marlins Stadium debacle.

Time is short.  As you are aware, Jackson and UM are engaged in the process to renew the annual AOA agreement. This agreement is extraordinarily important to both entities as it defines the relationship between Jackson and UM in many ways. It is a very complex and material ($130,000,000 in FY 2011) agreement between a public entity and a private institution and as such requires the highest degree of fidelity and  documentation to ensure compliance with each and every appropriate federal and state regulation impacting transactions of this nature.  Any lapses on the compliance front could create a very troubling outcome, including legal  liability, for the County  and the community.

Given the importance of this Agreement to Jackson’s sustainability efforts, the members of SEIU Local 1991 have engaged our experts to develop a due diligence questionnaire to assist  our  public officials and staff with their evaluation of the AOA when it is presented for their consideration and potential approval. We recognize that a legally vetted, arms-length transaction between the parties is a critical success element of Jackson’s ability to continue to provide high quality and accessible healthcare services to the members of the Miami-Dade community.

While UM is without question a critical partner of Jackson in the provision of award winning healthcare services, there are certain legal, financial, and operational aspects of the AOA that require a high level of  scrutiny, attentiveness and due diligence to assure that the public has equal footing in the transaction and that the transaction is fair. Given that UM and Jackson each operate competing hospitals in a very close proximity and that UM physicians serve as the primary department chairs and specialty physicians at Jackson, it is even more critical that the AOA is fair, balanced, and provides the County with a pathway to achieving our public healthcare mission.

Of course, this questionnaire is meant to serve only as reference guide for due diligence steps that the FRB, PHT leadership and BCC may choose to utilize in its evaluation of this critical deal between UM and PHT. I have attached two additional documents which describe the FY 2011 AOA payments, one in narrative form and the other in graphical form.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Martha Baker, RN


Watch the video of President Martha Baker’s presentation!