Pitts To Assume Medical Helm At ARMC

Dr. Richard Pitts, the former assistant medical director for Kaiser Permanente in Orange County, has been named medical director of San Bernardino County’s hospital, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center located in Colton.
Pitts, a physician, health educator and hospital administrator with a 40-year career as a health profession, was brought in to replace Dr. Dev GnanaDev, who had been county medical director from 2000 until he left under something of a cloud in January.
The county hospital was the focus of an investigation, including the serving of search warrants obtained by the FBI in 2010. There have been unverified accusations of favoritism at the hospital benefiting top county officials, off- the-book patient record keeping and conflicts of interest pertaining to GnanaDev’s function as the head of a surgical unit that had a contract to perform surgeries at the hospital.
Dr. Emily Ebert was brought in to serve as the acting medical director of the county hospital shortly after GnanaDev’s departure as medical director.
Pitts is being asked to complete the institution of reforms and lead the hospital staff with the initiation of the Affordable Care Act, including its Individual Mandate provisions which are to take effect January 1. Pitts’ list of duties includes oversight of and final decisions with regard to the provision of medical services; compliance with federal and state laws; day-to-day management operations; and maintaining clinical integrity.
Significantly, Pitts will take on the one area of oversight at the hospital that led to the conflict-of-interest charges against GnanaDev: contractual relations with the physician corporations that provide medical services at the hospital. Arrowhead Regional contracts with 21 private physician corporations employing over 390 physicians or medical professionals, including one that provides surgical services that is owned by GnanaDev. Pitts is not an owner or involved with any of those contractors. Pitts is set to start with the county on September 9.

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