In June of this year the El Paso Chamber of Commerce issued a letter to then El Paso Children’s Board Chair, Rosemary Castillo. In it they asked “the leadership of both UMC and El Paso Children’s Hospital to put their differences aside to come to a solution that: 1) will be financially sustainable, 2) in the best interest of the children of our region, and 3) and will not impose an additional burden to the taxpayers of El Paso.” You can read the entire letter here. Since that time, UMC, El Paso Children’s and the County Commissioners Court have come to an agreement on a plan. But does that plan fulfill the requests set forth by the El Paso Chamber?
- Financially Sustainable – if you have been following our posts, you will see how UMC was taking money from the Children’s Hospital at every opportunity: Rent, Overcharging on contracts, even El Paso First was under reimbursing EPCH. Finally, there is the matter of the County Commissioners choosing control over the Children’s Hospital INSTEAD of Money. If things don’t change, we’re going to rate this one as a big fat NO.
- Best Interest of the Children – this is a fuzzy one. There will still be a children’s hospital, so we’re told. However, it depends on how that hospital continues as to whether or not the physicians stick around. We’re going to rate this one a MAYBE.
- Additional Tax Burden – HA! We’ve spoken at great length about how UMC and the County Commissioners have decided to maintain control instead of allowing EPCH to have a higher reimbursement rate. In fact, you can read Veronica’s letter about this here. They think it will be ‘a wash’ but they don’t know. So far, it looks like the hospital is being set up to fail… again. Just like the last 3 years, expect anything that is going wrong at UMC to be blamed on El Paso Children’s Hospital. So, just like #1, if things don’t change, we’re going to rate this one a big fat NO.
So far, it isn’t looking that great for the Chamber of Commerce’s requests. There is still time, UMC and the County Commissioners can still fix this. However, the clock is ticking and January 8th is rapidly approaching. After that date, many of the items set in motion can no longer be corrected. Hold onto your hats, folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!