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Kahtnu takes action against CPH's 4th operating room

Posted: January 19, 2012 - 11:52pm  |  Updated: January 20, 2012 - 12:00am

Details emerged at a public meeting Thursday of a new development in the consideration of Kahtnu Venture’s proposal to build an ambulatory surgical center in Kenai.

Stephen Rose, an attorney with the Seattle-based law firm Garvey Schubert Barer, confirmed Kahtnu is seeking an injunction against the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, with Central Peninsula Hospital listed as a party.

The group of eight surgeons is taking issue with the development and completion of CPH’s fourth operating room, which has become a point of consideration surrounding whether or not Kahtnu’s proposal is needed in the area.

“Kahtnu Ventures brought an action seeking an injunction against the Department of Health and Social Services asking to address the opinion that (CON coordinator) Karen Lawfer issued stating that the hospital did not need a certificate of need to build the fourth operating room,” Rose said. “After we filed that action for an injunction, I spoke with the attorney representing the (state) department and it was her suggestion that since this was something that impacted the hospital that we bring (them) in as a party.”

Rose said Kahtnu has questions about whether all of the costs to build CPH's operating room were included in the state’s determination. They would like an independent voice to determine if the decision was indeed correct.

“We have filed an appeal of that decision and that we have sufficient time to have an independent judge hear our case and render a decision,” Rose said. “If we lose on that administrative appeal then so be it. But, we would like to have someone non-biased review her decision.”

CPH Chief Executive Officer Rick Davis explained the hospital originally obtained a CON for four surgery rooms when it started an expansion project several years ago, but never completed the fourth room, which was scheduled to become available in May. Davis said the cost of the OR was below the minimum to require a CON.

“It just begs the question of why they think it makes more sense to build a $9 million OR than the $900,000 OR when they are willing to sue us in order to make that happen,” he said.

“This is just a delay thing for them to try and get their CON approved with only using (our three surgery rooms in the calculation),” Davis said. “Ultimately we will get our fourth OR built, but they're just trying to delay it.”

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colonialpast
56
Points
colonialpast 01/20/12 - 10:04 am
0
0
Just more proof!

This is just more proof that Kahtnu is playing dirty and should be a warning to all. Kahtnu is being unethical and disceptive in its practices to get what they want. This is purely a profit venture for them and that's all...ANYONE who saids differently is just shooting smoke. It's clear as day!

liftit
20
Points
liftit 01/20/12 - 11:54 am
0
0
Imagine that! A person

Imagine that! A person becomes a doctor to make money!

Yes, their job deals with the health of people, but there is no reason that they shouldn't be allowed the opportunity to make more money.

Allen
596
Points
Allen 01/20/12 - 12:40 pm
0
0
"Free Enterprise"

Looks like it's the local surgeons in the Kahtnu group that are against "free enterprise" now. Not only do they want to cherry pick profitable outpatient procedures away from the Hospital, they want to destroy their competition too!

colonialpast
56
Points
colonialpast 01/20/12 - 01:06 pm
0
0
Do it right though...

Liftit, I have no quams about them making money, but one does it right and honest. Why can't they come forthright with all the fact and numbers? Makes you wonder...

Carver
1118
Points
Carver 01/20/12 - 01:40 pm
0
0
Vicious and unfair accusations!

Come on, Allen, do you have proof of such vicious accusations?

All Kahtnu is seeking at this point is to "address the opinion that (CON coordinator) Karen Lawfer issued stating that the hospital did not need a certificate of need to build the fourth operating room."

Let's be fair. None of the nasty invective in this discussion is coming from Kahtnu.

Bad form, very bad form . . .

colonialpast
56
Points
colonialpast 01/20/12 - 01:53 pm
0
0
ok...Captain Hook

OK, Captain Hook...

corinnep
249
Points
corinnep 01/20/12 - 03:57 pm
0
0
Read the Paperwork Before Spouting Off

People (including Carver) need to read the lawsuit paperwork before spouting off. Don't just believe the quotes in the paper.

liftit
20
Points
liftit 01/20/12 - 11:03 pm
0
0
colonial, It's not so easy

colonial,
It's not so easy just to come out and say "WE WANT MORE MONEY". That is a huge turnoff, especially with the type of people that live in this world. It's obvious that making money is a part of their game.

Think about a new retailer coming to town. If they came out and said "WE'RE COMING TO TOWN TO MAKE MORE MONEY", not many people would be inclined to shop there. Almost every new business claims that they will come in and do good for the community. Any sales ad that you pick up or commercial that you hear is designed to make you feel like they're helping you.

liftit
20
Points
liftit 01/20/12 - 11:10 pm
0
0
Another question that is

Another question that is being asked, but not answered satisfactorily is about how much they are allowed to charge for these profitable surgeries that they're so afraid of losing.

They have said that they use these profitable surgeries to help offset the costs of providing care to those that can't pay. That statement in itself says that I'm being taken advantage of so that people that don't have the benefits that I have can get free healthcare. I've heard stories of people with insurance being charged double that of people without insurance. How is that right?

Would you go to Fred Meyers and be okay with paying $10 for a dozen eggs so that your poor neighbor can have his eggs for $0.25?

Raoulduke
2889
Points
Raoulduke 01/21/12 - 05:28 am
0
0
Pricing

If you are in a life threatening situation.Would you really be thinking about the cost?Would you want to be transferred to another clinic for a lower price?Remember! Medical schools also teach students.How to operate a business.

cheapersmokes
827
Points
cheapersmokes 01/21/12 - 08:52 am
0
0
Not an emergency room!

Raulduke, This is not for emergency situations but only for elective surgeries that can be scheduled on when they are going to be performed. I think someone should ask these Doctor's why the feel this is a needed project! Is it so bad at the hospital that this is needed and right now? How many times have management sat down with them to discuss this and if none, why not?

Carver
1118
Points
Carver 01/21/12 - 03:05 pm
0
0
Competition . .

". . the Kahtnu group . . [wants] to destroy their competition too!"
****************

An unfair and unjust claim made in a post above. Any "competition" existing between the hospital and local surgeons was started by the hospital when it began hiring its own surgeons and more in competition with independent, local doctors.

liftit
20
Points
liftit 01/21/12 - 03:39 pm
0
0
Can anyone from the hospital,

Can anyone from the hospital, or who knows of how the hospital operates, explain to me why my grandmother was not allowed to see her own doctor when she was admitted most recently? They told her that she was to see one of the doctors on staff.

liftit
20
Points
liftit 01/21/12 - 03:42 pm
0
0
Raolduke, This has nothing to

Raolduke,
This has nothing to do with emergency medicine. This is for scheduled surgeries only. When it comes to these types, I deserve a choice.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/21/12 - 09:23 pm
0
0
Divided our hospital will fail

As I have told the Borough Assembly since April of 2009-the management style at CPGH is destroying our community hospital.

From the unjust/illegal firings-disciplines-to the battle between the surgeons and Corporate Board, our public community hospital is being destroyed by the corporate boards policy- “our way or the highway.”

We are divided as a community and therefore our hospital will end up a empty shell that the Borough Assembly believes is the only asset of CPH.

When will the people demand to know what is happening at our hospital?

Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 01/21/12 - 10:02 pm
0
0
ray, ray, ray......you have

ray, ray, ray......you have done nothing but toss gas on everything you and the other militia members bring up. Your personal vendetta against our hospital is well known. You have zero credibility when it comes to topics on our hospital.

You were hired and fired. Time to move on with your life. We have grown weary of hearing how "poorly" you have been treated.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/21/12 - 10:24 pm
0
0
Norseman

Please inform all of us, why the surgeons are working so hard against the corporate hospital.

Will you tell them to move on and quit causing trouble.

I wonder how many of the surgeons are in the militia?

OOOH SCARY

Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 01/22/12 - 08:39 am
0
0
money

Everyone but you understand that the surgeons realize how much more M-O-N-E-Y they can make.

Strip away all of the smoke and mirrors and the bottom line is the profit sheet. No different than any other group of people who get together and form a corporation to pursue a business venture.
Private for profit business ventures are solely in it for the profit they can give to the partners/investors.

What happens to our hospital if this goes through? It wil spell the end of our hospital. No way will these surgeons ever schedule another procedure at our hospital when they can do it at their facility and make a boatload of money.

You are a newcomer to our area with such a suscpicious background that the FBI and homeland security had to monitor you and your militia. You get hired and fired from the hospital and then expect all of us to listen to your daily, constant whining and crying about getting fired.

The borough Assembly voted 100% against this and they were right in doing so.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/23/12 - 07:55 pm
0
0
Norseman

Let me see if I got this straight. The surgeons have decided they can make more money by investing $9 million in a new building to do surgery instead of staying at CPH and doing the surgery in a building they have no money invested in.

I don’t get it. Is that some kind of new math?

If this goes through, or not, it will be the end of our hospital. The community is divided and we will lose our hospital because of the division.

Oh, thanks for finally having a civil conversation with me, at least until the end.

corinnep
249
Points
corinnep 01/23/12 - 10:54 pm
0
0
Answer to question

liftit asked
"Can anyone from the hospital, or who knows of how the hospital operates, explain to me why my grandmother was not allowed to see her own doctor when she was admitted most recently? They told her that she was to see one of the doctors on staff."

I believe that is because the hospital could not get enough of the local doctors to cover the on-call shifts at the hospital. So the hospital started a hospitalist program, which has employee doctors who are assigned the shifts. The hospitalists keep in contact with your grandmother's doctor about her care. You can read about hospitalist programs online.

Your grandmother's doctor knows about the hospitalist program and should have explained it to your grandmother before she was admitted, or to your family after she was admitted.

Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 01/24/12 - 01:12 pm
0
0
quote from ray,"Let me see if

quote from ray,"Let me see if I got this straight. The surgeons have decided they can make more money by investing $9 million in a new building to do surgery instead of staying at CPH and doing the surgery in a building they have no money invested in.

I don’t get it. Is that some kind of new math? "

Nothing new here. It takes money to make money. These doctors have not decided to start this venture because of warm, fuzzy feelings for our community. They have done their homework, broke down the cost/profit margins, and have realized a huge potential for profit.

No one, especially a group of doctors would never go into this without making a profit.
This is about money. It is all it ever will be about. Money and profits.

colonialpast
56
Points
colonialpast 01/24/12 - 01:42 pm
0
0
Ray Southwell...

Ray has no credibility here...he has a personal vendetta against the hospital since they would not put up with him and his militia bullying everyone and fired him.

He would love to see the community's hospital fall apart for his PERSONAL reasons. Just like the doctors involved with no conscience about the community, only personal gain.

colonialpast
56
Points
colonialpast 01/24/12 - 01:47 pm
0
0
The only reason...

The only reason the surgeons want to break away from the hospital is so that they do not have to pay the hospital for use of the OR and equipment. Their is no beef between them and CPH administration. Why else would they want to collaborate with the hospital if the goal was to break free entirely?? CPH bends over backward pleasing the docs and spends a lot of money pacifying them.

chalaskan
0
Points
chalaskan 01/24/12 - 02:14 pm
0
0
Ray, about the $9 Million...

I don't believe they are investing their own money alone. There is probably some type of venture capital involved.

Regardless, Donald Trump didn't invest millions into his casino's because he was unhappy with his partners. He did it as an investment with a likely large R.O.I.

You are fooling yourself if you believe that this is not an investment for the surgeons involved. The fact that there is venture capital involved...which is an assumption on my part, should show this is a very lucrative deal. Even if there isn't venture capital there is definitely a bank that is eyeballing figures which are not public, and seeing it as a sound investment.

They are doing this for the money. That isn't to say there aren't other advantages, such as a plethora of O.R. time available between the two buildings.

Again, why would they propose to do this WITH the hospital if it was to move away from the administration? This isn't about the hospital's administration, this is about business. Profit is the driving motive.

The only logical argument for this surgery center is more available time for surgeries to be conducted in my opinion.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/24/12 - 03:50 pm
0
0
Folks

I assume some of you are insiders of the management team at CPH. I am also an insider and can document what I have been saying over the years.

Many of you believe the CON will stop the surgeons desire to build an ambulatory Center. It will not. This is only the beginning.

History of Certificate of Need- Supported and passed in 1964 in New York State. In 1972 Became mandated by US Congress and signed into law by president Nixon. All States had to comply.

By 1986-Free Market advocates had the federal law repealed. Depending on what you read 15 States have repealed their law of CON.

Our State Senator Tom Wagoner has supported the repeal of the CON. Local Dr. Nels Anderson ran against Wagoner , in part, because of the concern a repeal of the CON would harm our hospital.

I wonder if Tom Wagoner would introduce a bill in the State Senate to repeal CON today? I wonder if Providence Hospital would like to see CON repealed and could get support from the Senators in the Anchorage area?

I have gone on record that either option for or against Kahtnu will harm the community because it divides us.

Healthcare dollars are shrinking and our community will battle over those dollars. We will all lose in the end.

Why after 40 years of a working relationship have the surgeons taken such great risk? Many here believe it is about making more money.

It is about independent surgeons attempting to keep control of their practices.

T.L.
0
Points
T.L. 01/24/12 - 05:30 pm
0
0
Hostpital vs Kahtnu

This is a very heated debate. The citizens of the Peninsula need to consider both sides of the issue and ask themselves the question if choice of medical facilities is needed.

Having been a resident of the Kenai Peninsula for 30 years I see the pros and cons of the debate. I am not one who takes the threat of higher taxes lightly as was indicated in the advertizing supporting the denial of the certificate of need.

I feel the management of the hospital has slowly been taken control of by others and out of the hands of the citizens. I suggest the outrageous salaries payed at the hospital to upper management and specialists be considered before you threaten the people with higher taxes. It is a problem of higher spending not under taxing, and a need to monopolize health care and curtail doctor's practices in the area.

Some hospital services have improved and some have gone drastically down hill. I for one would like to choose my doctor, I would like to call up and say "how much is that (procedure) and compare cost. I would not like to have to be medivaced to Anchorage if possible.

I would like to see a laboratory that can perform the tests that are so frequently sent elsewhere at additional costs. I would like to see a free walkin clinic run at our "community hospital", and I would like to see the ethical concepts of autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, fidelity, and veracity practiced at our community hospital instead of politics as usual.

We can have cutting edge health care on the Peninsula, (pardon the pun) in a spirit of cooperation and individualized need. Don't we have experienced mediators around here instead of mudslingers?

granny
160
Points
granny 01/24/12 - 07:14 pm
0
0
Good post T.L.. Thanks

Good post T.L.. Thanks

corinnep
249
Points
corinnep 01/26/12 - 05:29 pm
0
0
Why the Attacks

I don't get the angry rants attacking the local nonprofit that runs the hospital. Go look at the hospital's web site, the hospital board members are good people. The hospital has never been run by citizens or by elected officials, and that's a good thing in my view, we need professionals and informed nonprofit board members to run it. For 30 years before the current group, the hospital was run by a private company, mostly Lutheran Hospitals. The Lutheran Hospital board was thousands of miles outside Alaska and I never heard any boo hooing about that.

Hmmm
4
Points
Hmmm 01/26/12 - 10:17 pm
0
0
Rant or facts?

The CEO of the hospital salary is public, less than $300k. Several of the doctors in Kahtnu make well over $500k. I'm pretty sure I know where the greed is here.

The fourth OR was part of the original CON. The hospital simply sought to confirm that it was still valid. The fact that they want to build it now may be political, however.

Abolish CON and expect to see the large for profit hospitals arriving soon. They quickly out capitalize the smaller nonprofits then raise rates and provide poorer care.

Kahtnu seems to be a bad idea, unless you're a surgeon.

Hmmm
4
Points
Hmmm 01/26/12 - 10:18 pm
0
0
Rant or facts?

The CEO of the hospital salary is public, less than $300k. Several of the doctors in Kahtnu make well over $500k. I'm pretty sure I know where the greed is here.

The fourth OR was part of the original CON. The hospital simply sought to confirm that it was still valid. The fact that they want to build it now may be political, however.

Abolish CON and expect to see the large for profit hospitals arriving soon. They quickly out capitalize the smaller nonprofits then raise rates and provide poorer care.

Kahtnu seems to be a bad idea, unless you're a surgeon.

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