Controversial industry group closes
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 12, 2007
The Healthcare Research & Development Institute, a group that sought to link hospital executives and industry vendors, has shut down.
The closure is part of the terms of a settlement agreement between the Pensacola, Fla.-based group and the attorney general's office in Connecticut. HRDI, owned by hospital executives but supported financially by hospital vendors, said it was a means for executives and vendors to meet and talk. However, the Connecticut attorney general suggested the group was instead a means for vendors to buy access to top health care executives, and then enter into deals that might not offer the best quality or lowest cost.
As part of the deal, HRDI admits no wrongdoing but agreed to dissolve in its current form. It may reorganize, but only under a specific set of rules that excludes vendor membership in the organization, provides for greater disclosure to executives' hospitals of their management's involvement in the group and limits the executives' compensation for participating in the group. HRDI did not say when it might restart. The settlement was announced Jan. 25.
It was not known at press time how the Connecticut settlement would affect an investigation of HRDI being conducted in Illinois.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/02/12/bibf0212.htm.