Self-dealing rife at struggling hospital

The governance and management of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn was rife with self-dealing and spending on lavish cars, trips and entertainment, reported The New York Times.

In addition to the questionable deals involving the hospital's board and management, the facility also has struggled with quality issues, the newspaper reported.

Wyckoff already is facing a lawsuit by its former chief financial officer, who had been let go after reports emerged in a bribery scandal involving a state Assemblyman.

The Times reported that the hospital's former CEO, Rajiv Garg, drove a $160,000 Bentley. When he lost his license, he parked the Bentley on the hospital grounds, with the facility picking up the tab to insure it. The hospital also paid to purchase a limousine and luxury sports vehicle and chauffeur the chief exec, the newspaper reported.

Wyckoff recently lost two trustees, reported Crain's New York Business. Former chairman of the board Emil Rucigay and A.C. Rao, a physician, both departed earlier this month.

However, the Times noted that the current chairman, Gary Goffner, owns a pharmacy near the hospital and held the hospital's exclusive contract to dispense drugs. Altogether, 13 of the hospital's 22 board members have declared some form of conflict.

Meanwhile, Wyckoff Heights has received low quality scores from both Consumer Reports and the Joint Commission.

To learn more:
- read the New York Times article
- here's the Crain's New York Business article (registration required)
- check out the Consumer Reports rating (.pdf)

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