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Government and People
DATE: November 20, 2002
TO: MedStar Health Directors
FROM: John P. McDaniel
After many months of attempting without success to negotiate a contract with the D.C. Healthcare Alliance and Greater Southeast Hospital Corporation I, the Washington Hospital Center regrets that it will no longer be able to accept community Alliance patients for elective procedures effective December 1, 2002.
Washington Hospital Center has provided, without a contract and without payment, clinical services to more than 1,000 Alliance patients since June 1, 2002 based on the good faith belief that payment terms for the current fiscal year 2003 would be achieved in a timely fashion. MedStar Health and Washington Hospital Center executives have repeatedly sought to finalize negotiations and secure payments for services already provided to these patients. The Hospital Center has made every attempt to assist the city in meeting its obligation of providing health services, formerly provided by D.C. General Hospital, to the poor and uninsured, but the growing demand has taxed the resources of the hospital and jeopardized its ability to provide necessary care for serious trauma patients.
Additionally, the D.C. Healthcare Alliance still owes Washington Hospital Center $4.5 million for services provided to patients through May 31, 2002. Repeated attempts to collect this long overdue payment have not been successful.
We cannot continue to incur the medical costs for Alliance patients since the Alliance is not paying us or negotiating to get a completed contract that is fair and equitable. The Hospital Center cannot afford to pay the public health costs for the city's poor and uninsured that should be rightly borne by the District of Columbia's healthcare partner, Greater Southeast Community Hospital Corporation I.
All Alliance patients who present through the emergency department will be provided with medical screening examinations to determine if they have an emergency medical condition. If the individuals do not have emergency medical conditions, they will be referred to other appropriate health care providers. Individuals requiring trauma and emergent care trauma at the Hospital Center will continue to receive the necessary care.
Thank you for your support of this situation.
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