Update on Colorado River Medical Center.

Needles, CA: Update on Colorado River Medical Center.

During a special joint meeting of the Needles City Council and Board of Hospital Trustees held on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013, members heard an update on the status of the Colorado River Medical Center which included but not limited to: the operation and financial issues related to transition and possible direction to staff; an update on last week’s hospital payroll, city funding of same, and possible action regarding reimbursement to the city; and possible use of escrow funds to cover debts of the hospital.

Members heard from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. Steve Lopez regarding a some of the items in on agenda.

The discussion began with the topic regarding shortfall issue on payroll.

“We had shortfall; on payroll that was due, and at the end of the day, employees at the hospital are city employees and so the decision was made that we had to cover that; payroll so that is what was done and it was done out of city funds,” said to Needles City Attorney John Pinkney.

Regarding the short fall on payroll, Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. responded saying, “We did have to wire some money from the city funds. Part of that payroll, 3 days were Community Healthcare Partner and we did come up with our share of the money which was $27,000.00. I said that; we withdraw that money from escrow and told them we wrote a check for that so payroll was made last week, and everything is operating as normal.”

Other items discussed; regarding a recently Medical Audit, Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. said, “We did have a Medical Audit today; March 12th and that went very well so I don’t see any downside from that audit.”

Regarding staffing concerns, Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. said, “We were using a registry pharmacy to staff the pharmacy; the current pharmacist was on leave of absence so we ended that relationship and we were able to back to the pharmacy. The lab manager was actually left on the 28th so we actually had a lab management position filled, and then a course, John Freeberg last day was on the 28th so I was able to step in on the first.”

Regarding the Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: “We are following up on the CT; we think we have a good buy able solution for the CT. We asked the architect to resurrect that project.”

Regarding the new helipad base, Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. said, “You might have heard in the pass that was going to be a helipad that was going to be built at the hospital; they were going to carve out some area with in the modulate unit there and then they’re gonna fix then something like $60,000 and pay the hospital $3,000 so. I just met with him today at 1:00(pm PT) and he kind of informed me that that project was… will cancel; that it’s not financially viable for them to go forward on that project like that.”

After the Needles City Council Meeting, ZachNews caught up with Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. to ask if he knew about any updates on the new health clinic being placed across the street from the Colorado River Medical Center.

According to Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc., he knew of no updates regarding the new health clinic across.

ZachNews asked about the helipad base that was to go next to the hospital and would have help with transporting patients to other county hospitals in California as well as speed up emergency transports to nearby hospitals in case of an emergency.

According to Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc., “After talking to the guy today, that isn’t gonna to happen.”

Instead, Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. tells ZachNews, “We’re going to have an open helipad so any air ambulance company can come in and fly there; we’ll wouldn’t have a base station there. Business as usual; how it’s been in the pass.

ZachNews asked if there is any problems paying payroll after what was brought up during the meeting and Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. tells ZachNews, “No; everything out smooth.”

Regarding former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Colorado River Medical Center John Freeberg leaving, Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. tells ZachNews, “When CHP (Community Healthcare Partner Inc.) did are agreements back on Feburary 26th, they were affected and the board approved March 1st start date, and so the former CEO’s last date was February 28th and left on good terms and CHP even offered former CEO to retain him for 2 weeks but he was ready to leave and he left.”

Regarding Medicare and Medical, Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. said,.”You had some Medicare/Medical cost reports that are open as of March 2013; we probably had about $300,000 on Medicare that you own and on Medical, it’s about $117,000; so well over $400,000 you have to payback Medical and Medicare for; that’s on top of the Account’s Payable that that listing they have,” said Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc.

Needles City Council Member Linda Kidd asked if you are making monthly paynents on the payback for this?

“Ya… you’re actually of… their withholding on Medical $5,700 a month and their… actually making payments to Medicare on the rest; you’re almost paying about 18 to 19 thousands on payback on prior year cost reports,” said Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc.

“And they’re at 11% interest right?,” asked Needles City Council Member Linda Kidd.

“The 2 that you have on with Medicare they are 11% and one is at 10.85%,” said Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc.

“We have a couple of issues with Account’s Payable; it’s about million dollars and what we see in terms of net receivables is probably gonna be under in the neighborhood of 5 to 550 and of… this is information that I’m getting off of previous budgeted financial reports that your auditors have provide with… I mean the business model hasn’t change much; you’re like at 3 A.D.C’s so I don’t think you’re gonna get very much more then $550,000 in terms of you AR,” said Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc.

A list of Account’s Payable was provide to members of the Needles City Council which identify the most pressing that need to be dealt with or immediately.

“What I did is there is about 22 pages of Account’s Payable detailed in terms of what vendors you own money to and it’s over a million dollars. So I sat down with the AP (Account’s Payable) Clerk and I said “Let’s address the most important, what’s urgent…” so that we can… we presume this in a joint meeting here,” said Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc.

From Anthem; which Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. told the member of the Needles City Council, “Insurance for the employees is due; their monthly premium… did not go down.”

To CPSI; which Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. told the member of the Needles City Council, “Is a very important vendor for us… of… you probably heard that CPSI shouldn’t have been paid or don’t have to be paid until the meaningful use money come in and that’s really not true. They’re looking to be paid $65,000 and they will even work with those in setting up what we need CHP (Community Healthcare Partner Inc.) as financial systems and to separate the accounting until the City or the hos… come clean on the $65,000 that is currently do to them.”

Each of these vendors listed have been calling in and pressing the most important to be paid.

Needles City Council Member Linda Kidd asked Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc., “So Steve, let’s take CPSI for example, $65,000 is what is due now?”

“Correct,” said Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc.

Needles City Council Member Linda Kidd continued asking, “For the one component or…?”

Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. said, “$65,000 is due now for the monthly billing that they have been…”

Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. continued to list the vendors and EmCare came up.

Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. told members of the Needles City Council, “EmCare; EmCare, I put in $75,000. You’re right now behind EmCare; I think the last 2 weeks of October is due so that will be $25,000, and then the Fall of November will be another $50,000.”

Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. ended by saying, “So all in all, these immediate vendors like $245,000 is what we’re looking at.”

After Steve Lopez of Community Healthcare Partner Inc. was finished with his discussion about Account’s Payable, Needles City Attorney John Pinkney told members of the Needles City Council, “I think that that this sort of overlaps into is as these Account’s Payable become due and now have this list that Mr. Lopez gone over the most urgent ones, where is that money gonna come from? My recommendation would be to the exten that you can avoid utilizing the escrow funds, do so; I think that better for both sides. The Buyer, the Manager’s Attorney, and I have discuss this and are both in agreement that to the extens to avoid that. I know Mr. Lun had offered to advance those funds, but it better to keep the 2 a seperit (Separated) as possible and the season for that will be… and I am speaking purely hypothetically… if you know, you drew out down $800,000 or $600,000 of those escrow funds and for whatever reason; I understand that this deal is moving forward and not aware of any reason that it wouldn’t conclude, but in the event that whatever reason that it didn’t conclude, you would then be in the position where you would have to pay back within 60 days whatever you have taken as advance so is far better to utilize our own funds through… so what funds do we have?”

Needles City Attorney John Pinkney continued his remarks by saying, “We have money coming on Account’s Receivable and one of the things that we would like to do is to get some direction to the staff on how you’ll like us to handle that; would you like somebody a pointed to oversea that; and Mr. Lopez can talk a little about what they’re doing to get those Receivables in… but you can use that, but it sounds like that’s not going to be enough; that there is about 500 to 550 in Receivables and significantly more in Account’s Payable and they’re gonna have to be dealt with between now and closing. So a… we need… you know, we had a bit of a scramble when we had the payroll come up and we just dealt with it and at the end of the day concluded that they’re City Employees, we had no choice, we need to cover it and we did.”

For over 30 minutes more, members of the Needles City Council talked about where the money should come out of and what do they want to see be done.

At the end of the over an hour long meeting,

The first motion; “There will be up to $365,000 being taken out of escrow and the terms of the payback in the loan agreement with the change that we discuss that in the event the Buyer terminates, that you have 180 days to pay,” said Needles City Attorney John Pinkney which Board of Hospital Trustees Member Terri Anderson said that that’s her motion.

After a second on the first motion by Board of Hospital Trustees Member Bob McKeever and no public comment on that motion, members of the Board of Hospital Trustees voted 6 to 1 in favor of the motion with an abstention vote by Board of Hospital Trustees Member Lana Shaw.

Next; the second motion; to direct staff; according to Needles City Attorney John Pinkney, “For Sylvia (Needles City Staff Members Sylvia Miledi) and David Brownlee (Needles City Manager) and Council Members Campbell and Kidd (Needles City Council Members Terry Campbell and Linda Kidd) to work together to monitor Account’s Payable/ Account’s Receivables and collections for the hospital.”

Board of Hospital Trustees Member Terri Anderson motion what Needles City Attorney John Pinkney said and was seconded by Board of Hospital Trustees Member Bob McKeever.

Members of the Board of Hospital Trustees voted 6 to 1 in favor of the motion with one ‘No’ vote by Board of Hospital Trustees Member Adela Owensby.

The videos from the special joint meeting of the Needles City Council and Board of Hospital Trustees held on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 are being posted as fast as possible on to ZachNews on Tumblr and Google Plus.

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