GREATER SOUTHEAST COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
1310 Southern Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20032 (202)
Testimony of Greater Southeast Community Hospital
Before the Committee on Human Services
Chief Executive Officer
June 22, 2001
Good morning, Chairman Allen and members of the Committee. I am Ana
Raley, chief executive officer of Greater Southeast Community Hospital.
Seated next to me is K. Singh Taneja, chief operating officer at Greater
Southeast. I appreciate this opportunity to report on the transition to an
integrated healthcare delivery system for uninsured District residents.
Greater Southeast and our partners in the DC Healthcare Alliance are
honored to play a major role in expanding access to quality healthcare.
My testimony will update the Committee on the Alliance's progress,
complete with details regarding the timeline, human resources, operations,
enrollment and services.
Before I get started, I would like to acknowledge our Alliance
partners. Greater Southeast has the pleasure of working with an
extraordinary team of providers that are committed to the delivery of
quality healthcare. They are Chartered Health Plan, Unity Health Care,
Children's National Medical Center, and The George Washington University
Chartered Health Plan, the largest Medicaid managed care organization
in the city, will perform administrative services, including membership
enrollment, care coordination and utilization management. Unity Health
Care, a federally qualified primary care provider with sites in all eight
wards of the District, will manage the District's six community health
Children's National Medical Center, a world-renowned hospital for
children, will provide pediatric inpatient and ambulatory services as well
as manage the existing school health program that serves a majority of the
District's public schools.
The George Washington University Hospital, a highly acclaimed medical
center, will provide trauma services and tertiary care in conjunction with
Greater Southeast Community Hospital.
Greater Southeast, a 388-bed community hospital located east of the
Anacostia River, will manage the day-to-day operations of the Alliance and
provide inpatient, specialty and correctional care.
The Alliance is working in collaboration with and under the direction
of the DC Department of Health. This public-private partnership is united
in its mission to expand access to quality healthcare for the District's
most vulnerable residents.
The District has between 65,000 and 80,000 uninsured residents,
according to the . Department of Health. Under the Alliance, District
residents who are uninsured and meet certain income criteria are eligible
to receive benefits. For the first time, uninsured District residents who
are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level will have a
healthcare system that promotes wellness, prevents disease and provides a
continuum of care in an integrated environment.
I would like to now discuss the transition timeline. Originally, the
Alliance proposed to carry out the transition in 120 days, beginning April
30. However, the District directed us to accelerate the transition period
significantly due to the status of DC General's medical residency program.
DoH indicated that DC General's residency program was scheduled to end in
June. Historically, DC General relied on residents to serve as staff
physicians. Without residents, the hospital could no longer provide
Therefore, the Alliance adjusted its transition plans to ensure the
availability of inpatient services prior to the residents leaving. As you
can well imagine, compressing the timeline by more than 50 percent has
been an enormous challenge, worthy of the best possible team effort. The
Alliance is working around the clock to accomplish in 56 days what we
proposed to accomplish in 120 days. Setting up and running a new
healthcare delivery system of this magnitude requires planning, human
resources and time to manage complex and numerous logistics.
But having said that, let me also state that another key transition
element is wherewithal. While the transition lacks a generous timeline, it
has abundant expertise. From the Department of Health, to other District
agencies, to community representatives, to the Alliance partners, a
diverse and capable team of stakeholders is working nonstop to build a new
and improved system that meets the healthcare needs of the District's
On July 1, Greater Southeast will begin to manage the new system. In
preparation for that start date, the Alliance has set in motion key
functions and has laid the groundwork for others. Last Friday, Chartered
began to enroll eligible consumers and notify previous PBC patients about
June 15 also marked two concurrent events-the end of inpatient
admissions at DC General and the transfer of inpatient services primarily
to Greater Southeast. Since last Friday, Greater Southeast has had 17
direct admissions from the emergency department at DC General, 3 of whom
were corrections inmates. Two corrections inmates are still inpatients. In
addition, we've had 5 inpatient transfers from DC General. Three more
transfers are expected today. George Washington has had 6 direct
admissions from DC General's emergency department since last Friday. I am
pleased to report that all admissions and transfers have gone smoothly and
have resulted in good outcomes.
Today, inpatient services will end at DC General. As of 8:00 a.m. this
morning, the census was 7. Greater Southeast, Children's and GW have
already begun 'to provide inpatient care and stand ready to manage new
In preparation for the transfer of inpatient services, Greater
Southeast is increasing its bed capacity. We are reopening and renovating
medical-surgical units and constructing a secured unit for correctional
inpatients. By the end of June, the build-out will be completed, resulting
in 80 additional med-sung beds. In addition, we have expanded our
monitored beds to include: 20 intensive care beds; 20 monitored,
intermediate medical care beds; and 40 telemetry beds.
Also, Greater Southeast has started to reorganize its emergency
department to accommodate an increased patient volume. And we are aiming
to open our trauma center by October 1.
Regarding outpatient services, we conducted a needs assessment of the
community health centers and the ambulatory care center at DC General to
determine operational and physical plant needs. Based on our findings,
plans are underway to make capital I improvements and to centralize all DC
General-based clinics in the ambulatory care center. The consolidation and
capital improvements should be completed by the end of the summer.
In addition, the Williams administration is implementing the Mayor's
pledge to build a new Anacostia health center.
One of the major areas in the transition is human resources. Dr. Walks
has spoken about the District's efforts to provide transition options to
employees of the former PBC. In keeping with the city's mandate and our
own commitment, the Alliance is aggressively recruiting personnel from DC
General and the community health centers to fully develop the Alliance
workforce. Greater Southeast, Chartered, Unity and Children's are
accepting applications, interviewing candidates, extending offers and
hiring for a wide range of positions, including administrative, clinical
and support functions.
Following is a current summary of Greater Southeast's recruitment
efforts among DC General personnel, not including physicians. To date, we
have received between 325 to 350 applications; have conducted between 250
to 275 interviews; and have extended 162 offers. Thirty-eight (38)
applicants have accepted positions.
We have recruited for positions in patient care, radiology, radiation
oncology, respiratory therapy, social work, finance, materials management,
food services, environmental services, and other areas.
Currently, we are in negotiations with DC General physicians and
dentists. I am optimistic that the negotiations will have favorable
results. I would be happy to provide the Committee with a medical staff
report upon the completion of negotiations.
Another important component of the transition is enrollment. Chartered
Health Plan is responsible for providing administrative services,
including enrollment, care coordination and utilization management. Karen
Dale, Chartered's chief operating officer, will cover enrollment in her
testimony. In the interest of time, I would like to point out the emphasis
that Chartered is placing on customer relations and service. Treating
members with dignity, providing them with accurate and timely information,
and delivering quality, accessible care are the core values of the
Alliance. Guided by those values, Chartered has developed a
customer-friendly enrollment process. First, anyone who signs up for the
Alliance is presumed eligible for 30 days. During that 30-day period,
Chartered either will verify eligibility or link the applicant to
alternative resources if he or she is not eligible for the Alliance. To
further facilitate enrollment, Chartered has placed outreach workers in
all 8 enrollment sites; has established a members services helpline; and
has mailed enrollment packets to 43,568 safety net consumers who utilized
DC General and/or the community health centers in the past two years.
Services As you know, the Alliance will provide services across the
continuum of healthcare. The health benefits package provides access to a
full-complement of primary care, specialty care, acute care and ancillary
care services. There is neither a co-payment nor premium required. At no
charge, Alliance members can receive prevention care, health education,
dental care, vision care, hospitalization, and a host of specialty
services that promote wellness, prevent disease and address some of the
most critical health issues confronting District residents.
That completes my testimony. I welcome the opportunity to address
questions from the Committee. I also appreciate this opportunity to update
not only the Committee but also the general public. The Alliance is
committed to keeping District residents informed about this new integrated
healthcare delivery system. In fact, copies of my testimony will be
available on Greater Southeast's web site. The address is www.greater-southeast.com.
Finally, I would like to thank the audience seated here in the chamber
as well the viewing audience for their vigilance and advocacy. As a result
of public will, government action and private sector involvement, the
District is forging a healthcare renaissance that will mean improved
healthcare access and health outcomes for uninsured residents.
Thank you, Chairman Allen and the Committee.