Thursday, May 21, 2009

All In The (GOP) Family

Hey gang, guess what! Former Senate Majority Leader and video diagnostician Bill Frist has a new gig:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Former U.S. Senator William (Bill) Frist, M.D. is joining forensic chemical and drug-testing laboratory Aegis Sciences Corp. as a health care advisor and member of its board of directors.

That’s swell. In the interest of full disclosure, I thought I should mention that Aegis is the “family business” of Tennessee State Senator and Republican Senate Caucus Chair Diane Black whose husband, Dr. David Black, is Aegis' CEO and founder. I thought I’d mention it because no one else has, at least not that I’ve seen.

Nothing to see here, move along. All is on the up-and-up. And by all means, don't look in the memory hole:

WSMV investigative reporter Dagny Stuart details questions raised about state contracts held by a company owned and operated by the spouse of a prominent State senator. (Click here for video. See below for the text of the report.) According to Stuart, Aegis Sciences Corporation, a Nashville-based drug testing company, currently holds over $1.4 million in state contracts to perform “forensic drug tests for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and drug testing of state employees for a few other departments.” President and chief executive officer of Aegis is Dr. David L. Black, the husband of State Senator Diane Black, the recently elected chair of the Senate Republican Caucus.


Although Black claims that none of the Aegis contracts came before a committee on which she served, sources tell Go4Truth that one of these contracts, worth $460,000, is with the Division of Mental Retardation Services. This division’s budget is approved each year by the Senate’s General Welfare Committee. Black served as the vice chair of General Welfare from January 2005 until the Senate was restructured earlier this month. Aegis entered into its contract with the division on January 16, 2006.

That story is from 2007. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong here at all, though.

I only mention all of this because one of the areas in which Frist will advise Aegis, according to their press release, is

Federal and state policies governing health care treatment and reimbursement for laboratory based services

So it’s worth keeping an eye on, okay?