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Details Emerge After Quorum CEO Thomas Miller's Sudden Retirement

By Steven Porter  
   May 24, 2018

The former executive has signed a consultancy contract with the organization he just left.

Despite announcing the sudden retirement this week of its top executive, Quorum Health isn't parting ways with its former president and CEO entirely.

In addition to more than $1.3 million in severance pay, Thomas D. Miller scored a two-year consultancy contract worth $1,000 per month plus $250 per hour, according to documents Quorum filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The contract caps Miller's hourly consultant work for Quorum at 20% of what his average workload has been over the past three years. It also allows Miller to be reimbursed for expenses related to his consulting work.

"It has been a privilege to lead Quorum and I am proud of all that we have accomplished since the spin-off," Miller said in a statement Monday, referring to the company's 2016 founding. "Quorum has a deep bench of talented employees and I look forward to seeing what they can achieve as they continue the Company’s commitment to improving patient safety and quality of care."

  • Miller's temporary replacement: Quorum's board of directors appointed Robert H. Fish as interim CEO. Fish served most recently as interim CEO of Millennium Health from January through March this year. His resume includes experience as a regional president and CEO at St. Joseph Health System and president and CEO at Valley Care Health System, according to Quorum's announcement.
     
  • Quorum's defensive note: In its SEC filing, Quorum notes that Miller's decision "was not related to a disagreement with the Company over any of its operations, policies, or practices." This comes as Quorum feuds with Community Health Systems, which spawned the organization two years ago.
     
  • Miller's slumping pay: Miller made 34% less last year than he did in 2016, as the organization has divested hospitals aggressively, according to records Quorum filed with the SEC last month.
     
  • Board implications: In addition to stepping down from his roles as president and CEO, Miller also resigned from his position as a member of the board of directors and as a director nominee for the election to be held during Quorum's annual stockholders meeting June 8. The board decided against nominating another candidate and will decrease the board's size to six members.
     
  • No competition: In signing his consultancy agreement last Friday, Miller agreed not to work for any other hospital or health system that competes with Quorum or that operates within 50 miles of a facility owned or leased by Quorum or any of its subsidiaries.
     
  • No mean words: In signing his separation and release agreement last Friday, Miller agreed to a nondisparagement clause, a confidentiality clause, and a provision waiving his right to sue under a variety of nondiscrimination statutes.

If he disparages Quorum, Miller risks losing his $1.3 million severance, which is to be paid out over the next 18 months.

Steven Porter is an associate content manager and Strategy editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


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