- Community Health Systems executive vice president, secretary and general counsel Rachel Seifert is leaving the troubled hospital chain at the end of March, the hospital network announced.
- Her retirement follows that of chief operating officer David Miller last year.
- CHS has been selling off hospitals and other assets over the past year in an effort to shed massive debt assumed when it purchased Florida-based Health Management Associates in 2014.
Seifert joined CHS in 1998, not long after Chairman and CEO Wayne Smith took the reins of the company. Ben Fordham, senior vice president and chief litigation counsel at CHS, will step in as interim general counsel when Seifert leaves.
The news comes as a federal judge in Tennessee approved a $60 million settlement between CHS, seven executives and board members and company shareholders, according to Becker’s Hospital Review.
The settlement stems from 2011 derivative actions accusing CHS officers and directors of beaching their fiduciary duties by causing the company to operate a fraud scheme. The derivative suits were consolidated in an amended complaint in 2012, and the CHS board approved the settlement in November.
The $60 million payout follows a $98 million settlement with the federal government two years ago to resolve questions about CHS’ billing practices.
CHS has off-loaded from dozens of hospitals in the last year in an effort to pare down roughly $15 billion in debt. In April, the hospital giant said it would sell up to 30 hospitals to help trim that debt, and in November said it would sell 17 hospitals for a sum of $1.2 billion.
In December, CHS said it had an agreement to sell two Washington State hospitals — Yakima Regional Medical Center and Toppenish Community Hospital — to Sunnyside Community Hospital & Clinics for about $45 million. The deal was one of seven in progress at the time.
The beleaguered company also sold a majority stake in its home health division and spun off 38 hospitals into an independent company called Quorum Health.