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Q: If it is true that LHN CEO Michael Poore gave LHN CFO Ed Romero a directive to modify 4th quarter projections because the originals were “too low,” is this legal?

A: NICHE is not a law firm but does not believe it would be illegal merely to present a rosy outlook. It might present moral or philosophical questions for a CFO to knowingly change what he or she had already honestly developed. Absent new supporting factors, requiring such a change would seem illegal were it to mislead investors. NICHE has not seen the newly recommended CHS template but has confirmed from reliable sources that CHS management has suggested that factors they believe to support a more favorable outlook be considered. NICHE feels certain that listeners on the conference call will receive the same warning used in CHS’s Q2 report–which is why conference calls require careful listening and due diligence:

“Before we begin the call, I’d like to read the following disclosure statement. This conference call makes contain certain forward-looking statements, including all statements that do not relate solely to historical or current facts. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, which are described in headings such as Risk Factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a consequence, actual results may differ significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statements in today’s discussion. We do not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements.”

Q: Did any of the specialists who have left LHN go to Parkview?

A: No specialists that NICHE knows of to date, but this is an early call. One specialist is working from home and another has made an arrangement to practice with St. Vincent’s in Indianapolis. The ongoing disruption of LHN has created stresses indicating that things will not end well. We will know more by year’s end.

Q: A national organization writes, “the issues you raise at Lutheran are endemic across CHS. We would like to support your effort with national voices who confirm this is true.”

A: NICHE will appreciate accurate data from any source along with confirmation that truly comports with claims of corporate behavior leading to diminished quality of care or heightened risk for patients. We intend to confine our efforts to northeast Indiana but understand the convincing nature of broad cultural evidence.