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HOSPITALS/INDUSTRY: How stupid is Navigant really?

So Navigant Consulting has been gilding the lily on its expenses in the apparently somewhat shoddy consulting job it’s doing at King-Drew.  Their basic excuse is that their private sector clients (almost all non-profit hospitals by the way) are quite used to not caring about the fact that they do things like leave rental cars in airport short-term parking for a week, take one day trips to work on other clients business, and fly their employees from San Diego to Los Angeles (a two hour drive) on a routine basis, and then send their clients the bill.

So Navigant is apparently dumb enough to think:

a) that their other clients won’t notice them basically calling them dumbb) that the King/Drew contract was sufficiently low profile that no one would care about what they did, despite the fact that the LA Times just won a Pulitzer Prize for investigating other malfeasance at the hospital, andc) that contracts they sign about expense reimbursement policies don’t apply to them.

BTW almost all of my clients either give me a total "capitated" fee for my expenses, or I make damn sure that they have an idea of what expenses are coming down the pike. And I don’t work for anyone who would have to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request!

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5 replies »

  1. John, you’re not assuming that the practice is limited to hospitals, are you? ‘Cause I could tell you stories about Big Four accounting firms and little bitty clients, much less the corporate behemoths.

  2. The consulting game is just that. I love the hospitals where I have worked when consultants are hired. The administration pays outsiders many times more than insiders who know the turf to comment on things about which they tend to know little.
    The consensus has usually been that positions need to be eliminated to improve efficiency. The salaries tend to come very close (yearly) to the sums the consultants are paid.
    OK, so I am jaded.

  3. Wow, this is like what I saw going on with Covansys at Kaiser. The consultants were being fabulously overpaid with very little monitoring of the work done. They could short shrift the hours they were billing for, take two hour lunches, attend department meetings, etc. These people were technically temps, with the difference that temps are usually treated as hourly workers who have to produce during the time they are being paid for. I found it additionally irritating that they weren’t even doing their own work – they were calling friends at the office, grabbing code off the work, using work time to study high-paying skills they could use elsewhere, and even coming to ask me. For this, they get treated by everyone as they have Mysterious Technical Knowledge.
    Kaiser pays later when they realize they have trash systems. You can bet no manager ever had to answer for letting consultants bill $200/hr for projects that have to be scrapped. They just put it on some chart of “software lifecycle” and pretend its normal.
    Part of the reason is that Kaiser allows greasing the wheels at the top. Convansys executives bring expensive gifts to Kaiser managers to keep them happy. They also all get a big ego kick out of dealing with large sums of money.
    This situation is incredibly insulting to regular workers, especially ones with similar skills who actually have a work ethic.

  4. Does the NHS have to respond to FOIA-type requests now? You’ve dojne work for them, haven’t you?

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