One hour later, Cuddy has another meeting, this time with PPTH's board of directors. More like bored of directors. I'm getting a sinking feeling that we're just going to watch an hour of Cuddy going about her daily business full of administrative minutia. If I wanted to see that, I'd get a real job. Cuddy hands Nurse Assistant an envelope full of scripts for the customer service reps that might be very busy starting at 3 pm today if Eli doesn't agree to Cuddy's demands. Cuddy orders Nurse Assistant to keep this quiet, but as soon as she leaves her office, she finds House ready to talk to her about how and why her negotiating strategy failed (basically, she was wearing the wrong bra). Cuddy worries that House heard something through the grapevine, but no, he figured it all out based on empirical evidence. As he does. He's thrilled to hear that Cuddy played hardball with the health insurance company solely because he thinks this will be "fun to watch." Hmmm ... I'm not so sure about that. Cuddy escapes House's questions by jumping in an elevator as Taub and Hadley get off of it to tell House about the latest tragedy to befall their patient, who is apparently named "Mr. Pluto." Um, ok. WHY aren't we seeing Mr. Pluto this week? He sounds awesome. The Cottages think Mr. Pluto has congestive heart failure, but House knows the real diagnosis. As he says it, the elevator doors close. We, like Cuddy, will never know. Or care.
On her way into the meeting, Cuddy has a confrontation with another doctor. This time it's Dr. Dave Thomas, who, along with founding Wendy's, is PPTH's Chief of Surgery. And he just had to deal with Dr. Crybaby moaning about House for twenty minutes, so he's a little sick of House and how PPTH caters to his every whim while he can't get a replacement for Chase, who he says House "stole" from him. Well, maybe if you hadn't forced Chase to do like every single surgery then he wouldn't rather work for House than you, Dave. He says that if Cuddy doesn't stop putting out House's fires and start "doing [her] damn job," she'll be looking for a new Chief of Surgery. Cuddy just lets him talk to her like this. Weak.
Cuddy enters the conference room, where the various suits and one whose lab coat tells us that he is a doctor ask for details on what Dr. Dave's damage was. Mind your own business, Dr. Nosy. With that, they get down to business: the pending deal with GEHI Co. Cuddy updates them on her "final offer" and accompanying 3 pm termination ultimatum. No one is pleased with this, least of all Dr. Nosy, who says PPTH will be out of business in three months if they don't take GEHI Co. insurance. The only other conference attendee who gets lines says that Cuddy's 12% increase request when GEHI Co. was only offering them 4% is kind of insane. Cuddy doesn't think 12% is a problem for GEHI Co., pointing out that they're giving more than that to other hospitals who aren't nearly as good as PPTH. "In a perfect world, that would definitely matter," the suit says. That guy is cool. Let's have an episode all about his life next, please. I do like how Cuddy has the nerve to say that PPTH is such a great hospital when its employees are literally freezing each other (and their patients) out of operating rooms. If PPTH is one of the best-rated hospitals in the state with that standard of care, then I weep for New Jersey. Cuddy seems to think that GEHI Co. needs PPTH in its network to be able to convince potential customers that its coverage is the best. HA! Cuddy seems to be under the mistaken impression that people have a choice when it comes to health insurance providers. For most people in this country, your insurance dictates where you receive care, not vice versa. For instance, when the hospital my surgeon wanted to do my tonsillectomy at wasn't in my health insurance company's network, I just asked to have the surgery performed at a hospital that was. And I found that surgeon in the first place by looking through my health insurance company's list of in-network doctors. Not to mention that if GEHI Co. subscribers are that desperate for PPTH care, they can simply go to the Clinic for free. "They need us," Cuddy says of GEHI Co. "No. We need them," says Dr. Nosy. "We need each other," says the suit. He pauses so some random woman can nod wisely, then ends the meeting with a final offer of his own: if Cuddy terminates PPTH's contract with GEHI Co., then the board will terminate her. Cuddy manages to look confident until she reaches an empty elevator, at which point she allows herself to look slightly terrified and very tired.