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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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Hmmm 01/26/12 - 10:18 pm
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.

cheapersmokes 01/27/12 - 11:03 am
Surgery Center

I have a friend in Minnesota who took his wife to one of our accepted insurance providers for her to have a lens implant operation. He asked how much this would cost and was asked if he had insurance. When he said he did then he was told it would be $12,000. He then asked what the price would be if he would self went down to $6,500 then when he asked if he didn't have any funds or insurance he was told that they would bill welfare for $3,000. The other people cover the expense of providing services to those who cannot pay. He never asked if they keep track of any overcharges.

If the hospital had decent management and leadership they would figure out a way to deal with this without losing their most profitable operations and they should also sit down with the Doctor's and discuss their complaints and work on resolving them to provide better health care at reasonable prices.

RaySouthwell 01/27/12 - 12:31 pm

I don’t think anyone believes the board members are bad. The question, I raise, is why they do not listen to the people who deliver the care to the patients?

None of the board members have experience, in hospital based, healthcare. The only exception is the physician board member. I have seen how they treated Dr. Bramante in years past.

Why does the board have a problem keeping physician board members. Answer-the board only listens to the money mangers. Why else would they want to sell our hospital?

The owners need to take control of our hospital.

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