“We did that,” “We saved a hospital, and I’m proud of it. -Veronica Escobar in her 2015 State of the County Address.
But did they actually save a Children’s Hospital or did the County Commissioners succeed in adding another burden on the tax payers? We’ve covered the Medicaid/Medicare rules regarding Hospitals that occupy the same space (HwH) in other posts, so we thought we would summarize the County’s Options:
- Remove the overseeing governance from the plan: among other things, get rid of the interlocking board member, the UMC approval of the new EPCH CEO and the oversight that UMC has over EPCH spending (you can read our blogs on these here, here, here and here). In other words, they can fulfill their promise to have El Paso Children’s be an independent Children’s Hospital. This will allow EPCH to bill Medicare/Medicaid at a higher rate and make the hospital self-sustaining.
- Leave the additional governance language in the plan and the oversight in the Children’s Hospital. By doing this, they walk away from $5 million – $20million a year. The picture at the beginning of this article shows the projections for the El Paso Children’s Hospital; that $5 million to $20 million will DEFINITELY make the difference between El Paso Children’s Hospital being self-sustaining or a burden on the tax payers. This option would complete the hostile take-over they have already started and would result in UMC finally absorbing El Paso Children’s Hospital so that it is just a wing of the county hospital. In this option they have sneakily squandered our $120 million on a new building for UMC as well as increased taxes.
- Leave the language and the additional oversight in place and bill Medicare/Medicaid as if the El Paso Children’s Hospital is an independent hospital. As we covered in another post, this could result in bankruptcy for both hospitals as well as fines and jail time for all involved.
Now that UMC and the County Commissioners finally have the keys to the El Paso Children’s Hospital, what do they intend to with them?