REPORT ON OPEN RECORDS
EXAMINATION RE. MMC
.December 9, 2004
On December 8, three Common
Cause Board members: Mary Ann Digman, Steve Carter and James M. Kadlecek met at
the County offices to examine the materials which had been collected pursuant to
our open records request.
While we are still
examining some of the materials
.specifically the policies regarding indigent
care, we can report the following:
- Invoices provided to us
indicate that $696,000 in fees were paid for consulting and legal fees. It
appears that $443,000 was paid to Joe Lupicas firm, $50,000 to a mid-west
firm that did a valuation study, and approximately $206,000 to the local law
firm headed by Matt Holt.
- Province has provided a
set of policies labeled Accounts Receivable-Expanded Care Services. This
document was marked as being received on September 28, which is about three
since their lease required submission of these policies within 90
days of the date they took possession (June 2). We are not certain if this
represents all their policies regarding indigent and uninsured patient care.
Many specific questions yet need to be answered.
- Province has filed a
report (in essence a billing), indicating that they have provided $8,406,304
in expanded care services for the 4 months ending September 30, 2004.
Apparently, they expect to be reimbursed by City-County for $7,652,118.
Approximately $5.3 million of that would come from federal sole provider
funds, and $2.3 from County expanded care funds (the set-aside from the MMC
sale proceeds for indigent care). No information was provided in the report
regarding the number of patients served, nor was there any detail regarding
types of medical services provided, etc. When the County PIO was asked about
this, he referred us to Sylvia Sierra in the Health Department.
- Mary Ann Digman
indicates that there are some differences between these policies and those
that MMCInc. utilized. She is analyzing this and will report further.
- When we asked about a
final summary accounting of the transaction, we were told by the PIO that to
his knowledge, none has been completed.
- When we asked about any
official notifications of the County by Province regarding their pending
sale-merger with LifePoint Hospitals, Inc., The PIO indicated he had inquired
of County Manager, Accounting, and Legal
and no such notifications have been
received. All that could be provided to us was a copy of a lengthy news
- When we asked if the
County Manager, in his capacity as a Board Member of Province-Las Cruces
Inc., had reported to the Board of Commissioners on the activities of
Province, the PIO indicated he knew of no such report having been given.
Bottom Line: There remain
many questions about the care being provided to indigent and uninsured patients,
about Provinces operation of the facility, about their pending sale to
LifePoint, and about the use of proceeds from the transaction. We will continue