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home : opinions : letters February 5, 2016

4/4/2013 5:00:00 PM
LETTER: Do your own investigation

I am writing to ask the citizens of Blythe to begin checking out the information that is being spread around town related to changes at Palo Verde Hospital (PVH).

I heard recently that the first administrator or acting CEO hired through HFS Consultants had been fired by the board president for no good reason.

That didn't sound sensible to me so I contacted Palo Verde Hospital and found out the reason he was asked to leave was due to his inability to work more than two days per week.

HFS was called and they immediately replaced this person with a CEO who was able to work the number of days the contract had required and the problem was solved. The new CEO, Larry Blitz, has confirmed that this is exactly what occurred.

I have been working in Blythe long enough to know that in the past, too many contracted managers have taken advantage of our small district hospital. A great example is the wages paid our last CEO. How anyone could think the CEO of a 25 bed rural hospital should be paid the same as the CEO of a 300-bed full-service public hospital in our state is beyond belief.

I know how easy it is to believe the negative stories that come our way but I really hope we can all stop buying into the worst and start asking questions for ourselves.

People are telling me they don't trust the care being delivered at PVH because of all of the infighting that has occurred over such a long time.

I have witnessed it for over nine years so I understand how they might think this indicates poor care being delivered by the hospital.

But I am in a position to provide continuing care for patients who come to us from all of the hospitals within a 150 mile radius of our community including PVH. And I can honestly tell you that none of the hospitals are perfect.

And I have seen indications of poor care from some of the most prestigious facilities in the desert.

PVH does a good job. There are services not available in this small hospital but the Emergency Room does excellent work and the ICU, Med/Surgical unit and Operating Room are every bit as good as their larger counterparts.

We need PVH in this community and we need to support it. Please do your own investigating when you hear the next story. This hospital can survive and improve if we all spend more time focusing on what is right!

- Sandi Blessing, Blythe Nursing Care Center

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Article comment by: @ very interesting

We have grown tired of hearing the same old stories every time the MEC gets its way and we turn over the last Board or Administration. We do not trust the MEC or Sandra Hudson, she proved that the last time she was on the Board.
Even this term she tried to spread an untruth. A friend of mine who has been attending the current meetings asked why Sandra Hudson was so against Mr. Klune as she had signed his contract. Hudson came out from closed session and provided a copy of Mr. Klunes last contract and said see I did not sign his contract (of course not she had been voted off the Board by then). When she left the room to go back to close session another member of the community came over to my friend and provided a copy of Mr. Klune's original contract that was Signed by Sandra Hudson. When she came out later she came over and said what do you think. My friend held up Mr. Klune's original contract with her signature on it and showed her. She walk away in a Huff.
Why not get rid of all the doctors like you have done to the Administration and let us have unfettered access to their RECORDS and see what fun we have!
As stated before was that 5.2 million in billing because the doctors had not properly completed the charts for those patients? Heard that is a VERY VERY BIG problem. Did we bill it anyway hoping they will do their jobs before we get audited for those bills? How much are we paying back because of the last RAC audit?

Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Article comment by: @ @ very interesting

People like you that try to discredit the facts with pettiness has gone from humorous to seeming childish. If you have any facts to discredit what has been said by other commentors on here then put them out there to be debated ad scrutinized. The hospital is a mess that must get fixed in order for this community to grow and thrive. I know "get rid of Sahlobei and it will all be fixed". That thinking is just pure fantasy and will not fix the majority of the problems. Why is it that after we get rid of all these high priced administrators the hospital finds all these problems with billing, credentialing, and being out of compliance? You ever thought that it might be that the administrators don't care because it is not their money and they get paid no matter how poor their performance is. When Klune was first hired he had large bonuses that were tied to performance then when they gave him his golden contract the hospital went on a downhill slide. The doctors for years have been telling those that will listen that the hospital was being mismanaged. Unfortunately everyone jumps to the administrations defense and says it is all the doctors fault till we get rid of the administrators and find out the truth!

Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Article comment by: @ very interesting

The fish stories have begun. That tale belongs over on this article.
Fisherman has big catch:

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: @ @ very interesting

In regards to the credentialing, all doctors credentials get reviewed every time there contract is renewed. This includes radiologist and emerency room doctors, if you do the math then that is a true number. Now to address the 5.2 million dollars the billing was outsourced for some time and then do to financial constraints was brought back in house to be done back about March. There were no problems with billing being done before it was brought back in house. The billing problem was found mere days before the last day before the statue of limitations was to kick in that would have reduced the amount the hospital could bill for. Luckily the consultants had two women there doing something else that knew how to do the billing since the staff obviously did not. They were able in a matter of two days to get the billing done that had to be done before the penalties kicked in and managed to teach the staff how to do it. To any person with a brain it would be obvious where the problems were. If they were not done right by the doctors like you suggest then why did the last administration not do anything since March of 2012 to fix them? We are talking about a year ago. I am sure it might have interfered with the trip to Europe or the 3 day work week. God forbid they work more than their "40" hour work week. You call people ridiculous but maybe you should listen to yourself and there are times when we all have to admit that we are wrong. I too am anxiously awaiting all the reports that show just how inept our hospital was being managed.

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: Agree Fearful Employee

That goes for the last letter the Doctors sent out. They are trying to hold Catalina Mclain totally responsible for the Helipad be tabled to the next meeting when it take a majority vote to do anything even table an item on the agenda.
How about the 10 managers that have left the Hospital. Maybe it was not 10 but how many they do not state, maybe 8 or 9?
Then the pay cuts. On-call pay that most small hospitals do not pay at all. What about the Directorship that go to most all of the Voting MEC? Why does every MEC doc need a Directorship.

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: Fearful Employee

To very interesting!
Your article is full of bull ****! If you believe that info from the doctors, then I have some beach front property in the desert I want to sell you! Why would the good doctor push to have a gastroenterologist brought to our town? That would take away 90% of the surgeries he performs. I think it was administration who wanted the specialists and the good doctor was scared that he would not have much work to do! Results.... Blythe people have to go out of town for this service!

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: @ very interesting

Do you know how ridiculous you sound? Where are the 100 doctors that have been granted privileges?
I bet you are talking about the ER doctors and yes I am sure we went through 100 of those. Problem is they do not get voting privileges and are at the mercy of the VOTING MEC.
As far as the gastrointestinologist I can not dispute that, problem is I never heard at any board meeting or seen any MEC report that backs that up. Besides why not a gastroenterologist they can do more!
Was that 5.2 million in billing because the doctors had not properly completed the charts for those patients? Heard that is a VERY VERY BIG problem. Can not bill if that is not done and if not done in time can not bill at all (WRITEOFFS!).
Wait for the State Report! Remember in the meeting they had hired HFS consultants to respond to the STATE!! When done we will be able to get those reports under the California Public records Act. Yes even state agencys!
Do you know how rediqulous

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: very interesting

Comes to find out that the MEC says, that in the past couple of years they had gone to the prior administration asking to bring a gastrointestinologist to the hospital that they had found. They were told that there were no funds available to do that and subsequently the prison went and contracted with that Dr. at JFK directly. They also wanted to bring in a nuerologist and female internist. Since 2006 only one doctor has been denied credentialing out of over a hundred credentialing reviews. The kicker of last nights meeting was when the board announced that dating as far back as March of 2012 that there had been close to 5.2 million dollars in billing that had not been done. It seems that the deeper that hospital is looked into the more evidence is found that the last administration was very negligent in their duties to the hospital and the community. Makes you wonder if there were some alterior motives at play or were they really that bad at their job?

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: @@ blessing

You clearly have the info that "they" want to be hidden forever. They WILL NOT prevail! God is in control, and they WILL go down, in God's time. We just have to pray, and watch them burn themselves up. Patience is a virtue in these things. Yes, patience is not easy, especially since the ramifications of this cess pool business are so serious. Just trust.

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: @ blessing

The stuff being spread around town are facts - we have been here dealing with the MEC for many years. We have been there when dr brought the gun to the meeting been there when he sued a board member for following rules, been there when hudson gave the ceo what he wanted because she was benefitting as well, BEEN THERE DONE THAT. Your investigation forgets the real facts and figures. The MEC dr will NOT allow local dr's to practice and treat us patients at our hospital because he has toooooo much say. Instant revenue when u remove the MEC and start over with other local dr's on the MEC. We DO NOT need Dr S on the MEC eliminating the ability of PVH to generate revenue. The SAME CONSTANT HAS BEEN DR S AND THE MEC. How long have we had problems @PVH???? The same amount of time Dr S has been there!!! My Doctor cannot admit his many patients to PVH - guess why not? Dr MEC is frightened of my doctor and my doctor won't play the MEC GAME - so I and many others get sent out of town for everything - we take our money out of town - hello!! PVH can be a great hospital and it will be instant revenue as soon as the housecleaning is done - the only problem now is that we have the MEC DR's fan club on board to protect HIM from being replaced - NOT PROTECTING US!!!

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@ Blessing would it not be better if we had no hospital here? Why do we need it here? when these people do more shipping than Fed X or the people that drive the brown truck combined. So how does that help the nursing home when all of your potential customers are shipped out? Or as the good Dr, is known for making side deals did he throw one your way yet? Your focus should be in helping clean up the mess this hospital is in by getting rid of the people that are losing patients and money, by close the hospital to other Doctors and patients in their way of doing business. I did not say it was illegal but just bad business.

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: @to @to@

But we CAN'T go to the doctor we want to! That is the PROBLEM! The doctor I go to is not "allowed" to be in this hospital! If the "other" doctors in town could use the hospital, is it not reasonable to assume that income for the hospital would be rising? Then, when the MEC dictators decide not to admit their patients because of a "snit", we would still have patients in the hospital who are currently not allowed. If a doctor wants to use the hospital, he/she has to suck up to the power that is, and, fortunately for their patients, these doctors will not compromise their integrity. Thank God for these brave doctors who won't sell their souls. I applaud them.

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: Is it worth it

Are we not lucky here in Blythe. We have the smartest doctors in our MEC of any hospital in California. They have never done wrong or admitted to doing wrong. Have always prevailed in proving that the last Board or last Administration was at fault. To my knowledge not one of our MEC is a CPA, or MBA yet if we do not heed their advice we are told we will pay in the end. The best kind of medicine, getting it in the end.

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: @ to @ .....

The statement about administrations was in reference to where the 10 million dollars came from and how it was claimed that it came from audits. Audits that were done looking into deficincies in billings of care. Audits typically look back at past years records and decide if those financial documents were properly done. So audits done in 2009 would look back at previous fiscal years like 2008 and 2007. You know the years when the Klune administration was not there. That was when we had a group in here that was sucking a million dollars a year out of the hospital and obviously not handling the business side of the hospital correctly pushing it towards bankruptcy. Sounds oftely familiar doesn't it! We heard then how wonderful that group was and what a great job they were doing and the problem was the doctors. Then we found out they did not bill properly to the tune of millions of dollars. For the record I am not endentured or enamored with he MEC. There are a couple of doctors there I would love to see go. Most people in town probably feel the same way but that is why we all choose the doctors that we want to go to. One of the many freedoms that we have in this country.

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
Article comment by: @ @ @ look at the .....

SO you say they did not earn the 10 million, they just had 10 million in the bank.
So where did it come from? I know, a Medicare audit for prior fiscal years and draining of assets to CASH in the bank. Now if you do that at some point you have pay those vendors and put money back into capital. That is why cash was taken back down to 5 million.
You can not play games forever to look good.
Problem is you have nothing now to play with and the Docs can't help you.
You are in a real bind and the last two years are not why, it was the last 5 years and the MEC.
Best of luck, you probably destroyed your only real chance to survival. That is to increase revenue by offering more services especially in SURGERY!

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