Councilmember Silverman Statement on Disapproval of Veritas Contract with United Medical Center

At-Large DC Councilmember Elissa Silverman released the following statement after a majority of the DC Council voted to disapprove an extension of a contract with Veritas of Washington LLC to operate United Medical Center (UMC) located in Ward 8:

“I want to thank a majority of my colleagues for voting to disapprove the Veritas of Washington LLC contract today. I especially want to thank Vince Gray, chair of the Committee on Health, for a thorough oversight process.

This contract didn’t pass the smell test. There are so many red flags about Veritas, not only from our experience at United Medical Center but also their performance at hospitals in New York City, Bermuda, Maryland and other places where principals of Veritas have done business in the past.

Residents of our city who use UMC for medical care deserve a quality, well-run hospital that puts patient care first. It became clear from hearings, personal testimony from UMC staff, and news reports that this is not the case with Veritas. The death of Warren Webb, detailed by the Washington Post, was shocking to read. Subsequent stories showed how key information on the case was omitted from reports to the DC Board of Health.

A contract like this we cannot judge on dollars and cents alone. Lives are at stake. I could not in good conscience vote to continue the Veritas contract without any data showing an improvement in patient care.

I look forward to working with the UMC Board, Department of Health Care Finance Director Wayne Turnage, and the Bowser administration to find a new operator for the hospital as soon as possible—an operator that will put patient safety and quality care first."