Letters to the Editor: BIG SECRETS AT PCMH

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To the Editor:

Someone asked me why industrial companies cannot sign contracts with PCMH. This question turns out to be a definite piece of the problem facing healthcare in Perry County.

The Fair Market Act of 2020, which is market-based universal coverage, was designed to reduce cost and increase innovation. Basically, you do not have to pay for healthcare above fair market healthcare cost, which is set by Medicare insurance companies. Big hospitals like this bill, because small hospitals cannot compete, because their overhead is much higher. Small hospitals cannot take fee reductions of up to 480 percent. This bill spelled disaster for small hospitals. Yes, many hospitals, including our own, charge as much as 480 percent over Medicare fair market value. Our Ex-CEO could not, would not sign contracts with industrial companies that reduced their fees by as much as 450 percent. PCMH’s overhead could not be reduced by this amount and survive. Currently, PCMH is losing $2 million per year.

By not signing the contracts, PCMH is only being paid fair market value, they did not negotiate their 30 or 40 percent over fair market value like other hospitals did. Southeast Hospital negotiated increases over Medicare fair market value. Patients can go to PCMH but PCMH loses the additional money they could have if they had the insurance.

PCMH is a non-profit hospital and is losing $2 million a year. PCMH cannot afford overvalued $1 million doctors, $400,000 CEOs, $150,000 VP and human resource people, or hundred-thousand-dollar employees of any kind. The salaries do not fit a small hospital and only causes excessive overhead. The administrators refuse to reduce the fees for these employees and what we have is a bloated budget at PCMH, which does not compete.

Mercy Hospital does not care about Perry County, they will reduce the overhead at PCMH and PCMH will not look like PCMH. In the next two years, many employees will be gone, many services will not be provided and healthcare will change forever. Non-transparency at our hospital has caused a lot of needless confusion and concern by Perry County residents. Confidentiality agreements were all needless and serve no one except board members. I feel the big secrets at PCMS possibly involve excessive expenses, stark and CMS violations, overpaid doctors and back-room deals involving the buddy system in the Private Board, which should have never been created.

Joe D. Hutchison,

Perryville

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