Board members and top executives at South Carolina’s Prisma Health are scrambling to contain a scandal surrounding the attempted ouster of a top executive.
According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, the company is currently attempting to negotiate a parting of the ways with Jeb Dunkelberger – the chief executive officer of its newly-launched “provider-sponsored” health plan, Promise Health.
The problem? Dunkelberger does not appear to be “going gently into that good night …” and may, in fact, have some arrows in his quiver aimed at those seeking his ouster. As a result, negotiations between him and hospital attorneys over the terms and conditions of his departure have reportedly deteriorated.
Details are sparse, but sources close to the drama unfolding at Prisma’s Greenville, S.C.-based headquarters have described an “upheaval” – an escalating scandal which executives have been doing their level best to keep out of the media.
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At stake? The future of the hospital’s most ambitious new program – which executives entrusted to Dunkelberger when they hired him in April 2022.
Promise Health is “a provider-sponsored health plan” launched by Prisma for the purpose of “integrating an insurance product with the participating provider organizations.” The stated goal is to offer patients “better cost containment solutions, discounted network fees, higher quality care and an integrated member/patient experience.”
The plan was scheduled to launch its “direct primary care solution” in 2023 in the Upstate and Midlands regions of the Palmetto State.
In addition to his work with Prisma, Dunkelberger’s wife, Dr. Lindsey Dunkelberger, is also employed by the system – serving as a trauma surgeon at Prisma Health’s Richland Hospital facility.
Hospital leaders did not immediately respond to our requests for comment on the situation. As for Dunkelberger, he was not immediately available to be reached for comment – but this news outlet is attempting to schedule an interview with him about what is transpiring in Greenville.
A graduate of Virginia Tech University, Dunkelberger previously served as chief executive officer of Sutter Health | Aetna – a California-based company which sought to integrate “health care and health plan experience.” Like the Prisma-Promise collaboration, Dunkelberger’s prior venture also claimed to create a singular approach to health care that “eliminates redundancies, streamlines efficiency, and creates a differentiated and personalized experience for members.”
Dunkelberger served in his previous role from December 2020 to April 2022.
In addition to his work in the health care industry, Dunkelberger is the author of the book ‘Rich And Dying: An Insider Calls Bullsh*t On America’s Healthcare Economy.’ He describes himself as “a passionate builder, operator, and director of healthcare technology, insurance, clinical ops, and care management companies,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
“My career focus has equipped me with the ability to re-engineer and commercialize new forms of care delivery, financing, and overall improvement of healthcare’s human experience and outcomes,” he noted.
In addition to his role at Prisma, Dunkelberger is a board member of the left-leaning S.C. Chamber of Commerce – a crony capitalist lobbying group that advocates on behalf of corporate welfare, tax increases and expanded government bureaucracy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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Who hired this guy?