Switching from Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement to other health plan reimbursements. In papers filed with the court, El Paso Children’s Hospital alleged that El Paso First, a UMC “wholly owned subsidiary” was underpaying EPCH for services to the tune of $15 million (you can read their filing here). Just as a reminder, here is the board for El Paso First:
James Stephen DeGroat – Also current Chair of the UMC Board
Ron Acton – UMC appointee to the new EPCH Board
Michael Nunez – UMC CFO
Jim Valenti – Current UMC CEO
So, if El Paso First was underpaying the El Paso Children’s Hospital, UMC knew about it and was complicit in doing it. As a recap of where we stand:
- UMC has some control over El Paso first and its reimbursements and was underpaying El Paso Children’s so much that EPCH was losing money in providing services to these patients.
- UMC and the County Commissioners have setup a situation at EPCH which could result in El Paso Children’s losing $5- $20 million in Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement. Not only that, if CMS determines that the Hospital within a Hospital rules have been broken, they can GO BACK AND ADJUST ALL OF THE REIMBURSEMENTS THAT EPCH HAS RECEIVED – This would be even more than the $5 – $20 million that El Paso Children’s could miss out on.
- El Paso Children’s Hospital is paying almost $6 million a year in rent for a building that was paid for by tax payers but that money is not going to pay down the tax payer funded bond.
- As we have stated in some of our other posts, UMC was over charging El Paso Children’s Hospital for services in addition to charging El Paso Children’s Hospital in various ways to pay down the bond, was this money actually used to pay down the bond or was it just added to UMC’s bank accounts?
Exactly how are all of these situations going to be resolved? Because, make no mistake, they MUST be resolved if the El Paso Children’s Hospital is going to remain an independent hospital and off of the tax payer’s bill.