I had a chance when testifying in the Best v Harper case about my blog post regarding Chip Harrison and the 501a budget to reiterate my concerns about the way Glen Rose Medical Center takes optional taxpayer money and spends it without proper accounting (You'll remember that Ray Reynolds had said before that he was not following the letter of the law regarding this contract) . At the end of the hearing, Andy Lucas asked me if I knew that a new 501a contract had been approved 6-0. I said yes, but didn't get a chance to really explain why that doesn't mean what the Somervell County Hospital Board did was the right thing to do. I don't believe it is. Here is the new contract. Note that the contract confilcts with what I was told by the board president would be spelled out in the contract.
What is different: note that the original contract said that the Physician's Group would be providing the
"Medical Center with all back up and documentary information necessary to analyze the statement" (ie, revenue and expense statement for the month. If the Physican's Group revenues are insufficient to meet its reasonable operational obligations... the statement shall show this number as the Request for OSA for the month".
The Medical Center will review the Request for OSA and will determine the amount, if any, of OSA that the Medical Centeer determines is reasonable, appropriae and properly documented. The Medical Center will pay this amount into the account of the Physician Group... a detailed Use of OSA shall be provided to the Medical Center after each OSA transfer showing how the OSA was used.
But now look at the NEW contract. First thing missing is the part where the Physician's Group is coming to basically ASK for this money by showing documentary evidence that they need the money via the profit/loss statement. I see NOTHING about the Physician's Group creating or proffering some sort of written request. Instead, the CFO is doing it. "An OSA Request/Transfer form will be generated by the ... CFO". Um. WHY is the CFO doing this? Why isn't the group that is a 3rd party group getting taxpayer money having to create the request? THEN, the CEO is looking at the request the CFO does for approval before returning it back to him. the CEO is not doing this on the basis of a written request from the Physician's Group but from a request generated from someone that works for the hospital.
Also... MISSING from the new contract is the part where the Physician's Group has to come back AND SHOW THAT THEY USED THIS OSA MONEY FOR WHAT THEY SAID. WHY IS THAT MISSING???????
Finally, and I think this is offensive, just because there is OSA money budgeted doesn't mean that the board should be cut ouf of the approval loop until AFTER all the budget money runs out. When Somervell County had this, the hospital had to come before the commissioners court every time they wanted approval of OSA money, at least before Mike Ford decided to just do *settle up* money. But in the new contract, the money is entirely controlled by the CEO up to the amount budgeted. Bear in mind that NONE of this money has to be spent. NONE of it, it's all optional.
This legitimizes the whole problem I have had with GRMC treating OSA money as a slush fund without proper oversight, and for which I wrote a complaint last year to the Somervell County Sheriff's office. Last year I found out that the CFO was simply filling up an account when it appeared it was getting low, rather than getting written requests or, after the fact, reports from the Physicians Group showing that the money had been spent on what it was supposed to be spent on. The new agreement codifies the lack of accountability and continues it, and is signed with the agrement of Chip Harrison and Dr Alex Tseng.
Seems to me that the contract should be redone to put back in the accountabiliy features that say the Physicians Group is supposed to come ask for the money with backup, rather than the CFO creating the request form, and put BACK in the part that says the Physicians Group has to SHOW that they SPENT THE OPTIONAL MONEY on what they SAID they wanted; I mean, this is WELFARE, is it not? Am I missing something or do you think I have something WRONG here?