(Chicago News Cooperative) – When its chief operating officer, Tony Tedeschi, handed over his responsibilities at the troubled Cook County Health and Hospitals System last month to Carol Schneider, the two had something in common besides serving in that job: Both work for private consulting firms that have played a major role in the sprawling system’s highly controversial restructuring. Tedeschi, like other of the system’s recent top managers, works for the Sibery Group, which has had contracts with the system to provide temporary executive talent. Schneider, whose contract runs through December, works for the Washington Group Ltd., a consulting company that provides administrative help to the system. PricewaterhouseCoopers has a three-year, $50 million contract calling for it to save the system $300 million or bring in the equivalent in new revenue. Cook County’s use of consultants is similar to that of many municipal agencies elsewhere that have turned to outsiders for advice.
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