DeJongh's legacy: JFL shuttered  

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CruzanIron
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September 19, 2014 5:08 pm  

What a coincidence. Just got the bills for services in March.


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speee1dy
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September 19, 2014 5:14 pm  

missjustice, i am sorry i doubted what you said


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wheaties
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September 19, 2014 5:17 pm  

Why they can't collect money is beyond me. I had some work done there a few years ago and had a 5 figure bill (no insurance coverage) when I was done. I provided all my contact info at the time of admission. I still haven't ever received a bill. Not holding my breath.

Just curious, Kokonut.....did you give them a legal address or even a working phone number? Did you request a bill or attempt to go in to Financial services and arrange payment?

STXwheaties


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CruzanIron
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September 19, 2014 5:34 pm  

I've had the hospital (10 years ago or so) submit the claim to my insurance company 2 years after the event. It was refused for being to old. So they came after me for the full amount. I paid ONLY what the insurance would not have covered and I never heard from them again.


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OldTart
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September 19, 2014 9:03 pm  

As much as MissJustice revels in blaming the current Governor for everything that goes wrong, the hospitals have been going through these same ups and downs for at least the 30 years I've lived here, through (I believe it's now) five administrations.

20+ years ago I had one-day surgery. Fully covered by insurance through my employer, the charge for the stay was paid but the insurance company ended up not paying the surgical bill when the statute of limitations on claims ran out. For months I called, wrote and personally went to the offices of the surgeon, the hospital records department, and the hospital billing department trying to get the operative report that the insurance company needed to process the claim. I never received even a follow-up bill and almost two years after the insurance company (and I) simply gave up, I got a call from an off-island collections agency demanding payment, threatening to take me to court if I didn't cough up. I advised them that if they cared to request them in writing, I would be more than happy to provide them with copies of the many letters I had written to all parties involved trying to obtain the operative report which the insurance had needed to process the claim but that I had no intention of paying out of pocket.

I never heard from them again. Some things simply don't change in the long haul and, when they do, the positive change doesn't stick. Same with the hospital accreditations, on again off again.


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janeinstx
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September 19, 2014 9:05 pm  

I was amazed to hear Dr Griffiths state that virtually every hospital in the states has the same difficulties ...


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ms411
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September 19, 2014 9:21 pm  

Many people get treated off island either in the states or a cheaper island where they know the providers or the system. Because costs are less, they willingly pay cash. Medical tourism is the buzz word, and it thrives because U.S. healthcare is no longer the best in the world for everything, but may be the most expensive.

Imo, government employees should not have stateside treatment options unless they pay extra for it.

Very few private employers in VI offer affordable health insurance, and STT Chamber of Commerce no longer offers certain policies. There is no individual insurance option as of today.

These are considerations one needs to consider before moving to any of the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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East Ender
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September 19, 2014 9:25 pm  

I want to clarify a couple of points.

1. SRMC is accredited by the Joint Commission. This is a higher standard than CMS. When you talk about problems at "the hospital", please identify which one you mean.

2.The SRMC of Rodney Miller is not the SRMC of Bernard Wheatley.

3. While the governor does have ultimate responsibility, it is very difficult for one person to effect change in a system that is corrupt and unchangeable.


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terry
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September 19, 2014 9:33 pm  

I had a Er visit and sent up to surgery in Jan. Tried to give them my stateside mailing address but they only wanted my STX mailing address (which I never look in ).
Doctor office called this week and asked for my stateside address so they could send me a bill for the $63 deductible. They also said Medicare did not pay the $800 or so that they billed.
I asked them if they could write a notation on it saying it started in the ER and I had insurance that would cover it. They said they could NOT do that. I said I might even be able to get this accident only policy to pay the $800 and they were not interested.
Go figure----


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MissJustice
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September 19, 2014 9:58 pm  

1. Janeinstx, hospitals in the states have been decertified by CMS, it is true. The difference is that they have more stateside money. We do not have Medicaid; we are capped.
2. East Ender, CMS is higher than the Joint Commission. The Joint is the accrediting arm on behalf of CMS.
3. MS411, I agree that the government employees should pay less when the use local facilities.
4. Speedy, I accept your apologies. Thank you for offering it.
5. Old tart, I agree that some of the hospitals' troubles preceded deJongh, including and especially billing practices and unfair treatment of the territorities with respect to CMS dollars. However, your hero deJongh did drastically accelerate the challenges by gutting their funding, denying contract negotiations and slashing salaries of qualified nurses with the ability to work stateside, preventing the governing board membership, and not paying his bills for Corrections and Herbert Grigg.


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Alana33
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September 19, 2014 10:46 pm  

I think our illustrious (in their own minds) senators need to take some blame here as well.
DeJongh did not do all this single handedly. He had lots of help.


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OldTart
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September 19, 2014 10:50 pm  

5. Old tart, I agree that some of the hospitals' troubles preceded deJongh, including and especially billing practices and unfair treatment of the territorities with respect to CMS dollars. However, your hero deJongh did drastically accelerate the challenges by gutting their funding, denying contract negotiations and slashing salaries of qualified nurses with the ability to work stateside, preventing the governing board membership, and not paying his bills for Corrections and Herbert Grigg.

No, not "some" but most. I might even take some of your ramblings a little more seriously if you weren't so persistent in assuming that the present Governor is my "hero" and frequently hinting that I have some special kind of relationship with him which colors my judgment. I can assure you that whatever delusions you harbor on that score are simply that - delusional. I can only assume that you weren't around during previous administrations to see the ongoing similar issues of various administrations headed by various governors. One heck of a lot more hanky panky went on pre www.


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divinggirl
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September 19, 2014 10:56 pm  

Isn't the Congressional Rep also responsible for Fed/Local relationships? The STX source article said Donna had a half-dozen meetings since 2011. Wow - six meetings in 4 years - that's some hard work to ensure the hospital continues to take Federal funds. Didn't really do anything to avoid the issue but she's sure jumping in saying she's going to find a way. Makes one wonder why she should be Gov when so many things have gone down hill during her tenure.


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ms411
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September 19, 2014 11:14 pm  

Divinggirl, our congressional rep has to address many, many issues. The current rep lobbied very hard to increase Medicaid for territory since VI does not have an exchange like some states do, and VI will get more money from Medicaid and Medicare.

The delegate does not allocate or manage federal funds. The delegate may have influence in receiving federal funds, but after they're awarded, the local govt (governor, et al), make allocations. Delegates no matter where they are from, have little control as to how or where money goes.


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MissJustice
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September 20, 2014 10:35 am  

Ms411, our current delegate takes credit for all monies received from Congress, from farm monies to increases in foodstamps. She must then also take responsibility for all denied monies and inequities in the treatment if this territory. She apparently is so concerned about being friends with. Barack and Billary, that she has forgotten that she is there as our delegate, not as their friend.
We do not get equal monies from CMS per capita as the states. This is constitutionally unequal treatment since our sons get drafted for war, and is not a life the ultimate tax. Has Donna ever agitated to get the court to look at our situation? Do you guys notice that all US territories are majority nonwhite and that that may play a role in why we do not get equal funding? If ever there was a time to play a race card, this would be the time.

And I apologize, OldTart, I get it now. DeJongh is not your hero. But 7 1/2 years if this administration saw the hospital budget cut in half. You need money to collect money. If you do not have the money to employ qualified billing personnel, and deJongh does not appoint board members to form a quorum to approve an outsource billing contract for 6 months, requiring JFL to wait for the territorial board to meet (infrequently), how can JFL not fail?
OldTart you claim that several administrations collectively [ruined] JFL
And OldTart, which governor In the history of the VI has ever slashed nurses' salaries other than deJongh?
Which other governor ever cut the working budget in half?
Which governor other than deJongh took the hospital off the payroll?

And the current sitting senators who helped him where the budget is concerned for years are
1. Chucky Hansen
2. Samuel Sanes
3. Malone
So there is no disputing that the challenges are longstanding, that the hospital and non-paying community members shoulder part of the blame.
The senate obviously played a role. But DeJongh's legacy as the most influential governor in VI history, played a gigantic role in taking what was a fully accredited hospital in 2007 to the morass of decertification it enjoys today. You cannot spin that.


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OldTart
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September 20, 2014 11:21 am  

And I apologize, OldTart, I get it now. DeJongh is not your hero. But 7 1/2 years if this administration saw the hospital budget cut in half. You need money to collect money. If you do not have the money to employ qualified billing personnel, and deJongh does not appoint board members to form a quorum to approve an outsource billing contract for 6 months, requiring JFL to wait for the territorial board to meet (infrequently), how can JFL not fail?
OldTart you claim that several administrations collectively [ruined] JFL

That's not what I said. I said, "I can only assume that you weren't around during previous administrations to see the ongoing similar issues of various administrations headed by various governors." As far as the hospitals are concerned, it's clear even from the anecdotal billing tales related on this thread that this is unfortunately nothing new historically, and neither is the loss of accreditation. To claim that the present administration under the present Governor has created a new monster which never existed before is irresponsible hyperbole.

Maybe you might consider running for public office so you can reinvent the wheel.


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CruzanIron
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September 20, 2014 12:10 pm  

Just looked at my bills that came in for August 2013 and May 2014. They are offering a 40% discount on the payment. No terms, no deadline. The letter isn't even dated.


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East Ender
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September 20, 2014 1:05 pm  

1. Janeinstx, hospitals in the states have been decertified by CMS, it is true. The difference is that they have more stateside money. We do not have Medicaid; we are capped.
2. East Ender, CMS is higher than the Joint Commission. The Joint is the accrediting arm on behalf of CMS.

1. We DO receive Medicaid funds. Medicaid is health insurance for the poor. There are income eligibility standards, but the individual does not have to put money into the system like one does in order to be eligible for Medicare- health insurance for the elderly. (BTW, you have to work 40 quarters and put into social security to be eligible for Medicare when the time comes, although there are a few exceptions.) Medicaid is supposed to be a shared responsibility; the feds put in so much and the state is supposed to match it at some level. The level varies among the states and territories. Our match has always been higher than many of the states, and we have not put in our matching funds. BTW, that is why they don't pay some bills, they just say it is payment "in kind." With the new Obama Care system, the government has accepted many $$ from the feds to put into the medical assistance program instead of private insurance. Medicaid is flush right now.

2. Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit accrediting organization. If you are accredited by Joint Commission, CMS says "you are good!" If you are accredited only by CMS, you have additional standards to meet for Joint Commission. If you aren't accredited by CMS, you are up a creek.


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Alana33
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September 20, 2014 1:09 pm  

And I apologize, Old Tart, I get it now. DeJongh is not your hero. But 7 1/2 years if this administration saw the hospital budget cut in half. You need money to collect money. If you do not have the money to employ qualified billing personnel, and Dijon does not appoint board members to form a quorum to approve an outsource billing contract for 6 months, requiring JFK to wait for the territorial board to meet (infrequently), how can JFK not fail?
Old Tart you claim that several administrations collectively [ruined] JFK

That's not what I said. I said, "I can only assume that you weren't around during previous administrations to see the ongoing similar issues of various administrations headed by various governors." As far as the hospitals are concerned, it's clear even from the anecdotal billing tales related on this thread that this is unfortunately nothing new historically, and neither is the loss of accreditation. To claim that the present administration under the present Governor has created a new monster which never existed before is irresponsible hyperbole.

Maybe you might consider running for public office so you can reinvent the wheel.

Unfortunately, What OT says is true.
All of these issues have plagued us for decades throughout numerous administrations and can be attributed to the continuous lack of foresight, proper action, wasteful spending by each and every single one of them, having a cumulative effect.

With all the monies, both local and federal, that have been wasted, mismanaged, misspent, misappropriated and yes............stolen and CONTINUES to be with no consequences for those that have led us to this point (both past and present) this island could have indeed been a paradise that fully functioned and did the right things for people living here.

But people insist on electing the same old cronies and their buddies that have had their finger in the island pie for decades and then expect things to improve. Ha!


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noOne
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September 20, 2014 3:20 pm  

JFL Disputes CMS Decertification

Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital Chief Executive Officer Kendall Griffith is contesting the decision by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to decertify the hospital, but during a news conference Friday he gave few details on CMS’ decision or plans to address it.

Yeah, that's cause they have no decisions or plans to address the problem.


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Finatic
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September 20, 2014 3:27 pm  

Just like when hovensa shut its doors. "We won't let you leave!" No plan, all political posturing.


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Alana33
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September 20, 2014 7:37 pm  

Okay..........how many of you on this forum are registered to vote in the VI?
Y'all complain but there is no action on your part........................so?

Do you speak out except for this forum?
Do you call or write Senators?
Do you fight for what is right?
Do you actually make a difference?

Complain all you want but until you get your butts in gear to be actively involved and condemn the all too obvious things that stare you in the face every day then you really should either move back to the states and stand up for what's blatantly and obviously wrong in your neighborhood, county, state, country or stand up to make things better here.

Just curious.............how many of you are there?.
Or will there be any as some just seem to be here for "good times" not the long haul!
In other words....here and gone.


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MissJustice
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September 20, 2014 7:42 pm  

certain things I said cannot be refuted old tart
1. No governor has ever decreased nursed salary except deJongh. I challenge you to name one. Just one. This was August, 2011, and the amount was 8%.
2. No governor has ever taken the hospital employees off the government payroll except deJongh. I challenge you to name even one, going back to 1970. DeJongh dropped them on October 1, 2012.
3. No governor has ever decreased the hospital budget going back to 1982. DeJongh has cut the hospital's budget in half, by shaving a few million every year since he has been in office. If you know the name of a governor, the year he cut the budget and by how much, please so state that information.
4. The hospital board has never been without a quorum except since deJongh took office in 2007. If you can remember a year when they did not have a quorum and with which governor, please state that now. FYI, only a governor can fill board vacancies with advice and consent of the senate. John has not sent any candidates.

So this very vague statement about [many administrations] is disingenuous on its face. Old tart you know that I will attach budgets and press releases as I have done before because I speak fact and without fear of contradiction.

Of course the first thing I said is that billing and collections leave a lot to be desired. They suck. This is solely the fault of the hospital administration. They at least knew what they didn't do well and decided to do something else that worked....until recently. The newspaper reported that CEO Griffith had to wait 6 months to get an approval to have an external professional billing contract signed because they did not have a quorum. The joint territorial board had to convene to get Griffith to start the revamped billing. Whose fault is the lack of quorum if not DeJongh's?
Give me a break.

Now the Joint Commission, as I said before is not higher than CMS. They accredit on behalf of CMS, which is the agency with the power to pay. CMS has the power to reject the Joint's assessment for accreditation up or down. And CMS can do their own survey which they did.

Clarification: And regarding Medicaid money... We get M.A.P. To individual patients. People here do not have "Medicaid" cards. The point I am making here is that we are getting Medicaid funding that is capped. We get cents on the dollar compared to Mississippi. Ten cents to be exact. Until recently, the poverty line was $5,500 per year. Meaning that someone earning $6,000 per year is not indigent and can afford to pay for their care and pay their hospital bill. In Florida, a pregnant woman earning $17,000 per year is eligible and therefore, the hospitals in Florida are getting competent reimbursement and have enough money to function better. My fellow bloggers, people earning $5,500 will not pay their hospital bills.
So I maintain, ten cents on the dollar for capped Medicaid is no real Medicaid money.

I maintain Dejongh inherited a reasonably funded, fully accredited JFL, albeit imperfect at billing.. It is now broke and defunct, with an exodus of nurses. This is his legacy.


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Alana33
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September 20, 2014 9:07 pm  

blah, blah blah and more blah.

IT'S THE SAME OLD STORY!

Sorry Ms. Justice but exactly what have you seen here that has actually changed for the better? and HOW OR WHO WOULD YOU VOTE TO CHANGE IT?
Yes .......we know you hate the DIJON administration. But what do you do or have done over the course of the years? Besides complain?

How long have you lived here?

The majority of people find it comfortable to complain under their pseudonyms but rarely do so under their own names.

I have no problems speaking out but it seems that many wish to preserve their anonymity.

I asked a valid question to all the forum contributors on this post.

DO YOU VOTE HERE?

I cannot afford health insurance, in the VI. How about you?

I am not sticking up for this administration........but the hound dog hunt needs to incorporate ALL the guilty parties.


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noOne
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September 20, 2014 9:32 pm  

Maybe federal intervention in this case needs to come about.


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