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Government shouldn't impede community growth

Posted: January 10, 2012 - 10:15am

What has happened to free enterprise? Kahtnu Ventures wants to build an 8,300 square foot Ambulatory Surgery Center here in Kenai. CPGH is opposing this stating it stands to loose $20 million a year if this center is allowed to be built. Sorry about your luck. I'm pretty sure AIH or Spenard Lumber didn't have the Borough Assembly backing them when Home Depot decided to come to town. Did Carrs, Country Foods or Echo Lake have the assemby standing shoulder to shoulder with them when Walmart came here with their grocery and meat departments? NO! It is called "Competitive Business." I believe, correct me if I am wrong, that the the assembly has endorsed a 50,000 square foot wellness center in old town Kenai. Isn't that going to affect CPGH's bottom line? Why are we not having public hearings about that? I am all for free enterprise and competition, what I am not for is any governmental entity be it state or local with such a conflict of interest using its position to impede the growth of our community.

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cbeard
132
Points
cbeard 01/10/12 - 04:38 pm
0
0
Good Intentions but Dangerous

Competitive business is better for everybody, but when it comes to medical care there is a fine line between healthy competition and sinking a competitor outright. The peninsula has seen many examples of earnest efforts being shuttered rapidly, (Lowe's is the latest), and disrupting a medical patient base would be harmful to the population. The sudden cut off of service and the sudden ballooning of visits to the remaining providers is a recipe for instability in peninsula residents' access to health care.

Kahtnu Ventures' plans, now matter how beneficial additional medical care is, will undoubtedly cut into CPGH and make its already unstable financial foundation lose a few more bolts, although it wouldn't be as nearly as bad as they claim at all, as one surgery center hardly performs the thousands of services a hospital carries out.

Communities do deserve to grow but our major hurdle in expanding medical care is our population. The brunt of 65,000 peninsula residents use CPGH and auxiliary medical services and it just doesn't warrant another full sized hospital complex. On top of that we have a rapidly aging population, and the percent of senior citizens grows every day, which means that after the next generation there will be a free fall in demand for intensive medical services, making it harder for everybody to secure the funding needed to keep multiple institutions up to date and in operation.

Arguments aside, Kahtnu Ventures and the residents who want a new surgery center must make a better case, if not modify, the plans, and perhaps outline ways it can ensure the fiscal and social survival of both itself and CPGH services. This can be done by a variety of ways that require some basic investigating, such as making service partnerships with other institutions like CPGH, specializing in certain areas of medical expertise, and establishing a community of potential patients that reach beyond Kenai proper, which is essential as Soldotna is slightly more accessible along the Sterling Highway to most of the peninsula's residents.

Allen
632
Points
Allen 01/10/12 - 05:16 pm
0
0
Comparing Apples and Oranges

Tom O'Connell is comparing apples and oranges in his diatribe. Central Peninsula Hospital is owned by the Borough, and is operated by CPGH for the people of the Central Kenai Peninsula community. There is nothing wrong with the Borough Assembly lobbying against the Kahtnu Ventures project.

There's not a level playing field between Kahtnu Ventures and Central Peninsula Hospital, so Tom O'Connell's "free enterprise" questions don't apply. What Kahtnu wants to do is cherry pick the profitable surgeries away from the Hospital, so that the surgeons can make more money. Kahtnu will offer these surgeries for cheaper because they won't have the overhead of the Hospital, which is required by law to offer a wide variety of services. This will leave the Hospital with less money to subsidize patients who can't pay, who the Hospital is obligated by law to serve. Unlike Kahtnu, which is not required to serve these non-paying patients, and won't, no matter what they tell you. When the Hospital has less money, our taxes go up.

So yes, I expect my local assembly member to oppose Kahtnu's project, so the Hospital can continue to support itself and my taxes don't go up.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/11/12 - 11:47 am
0
0
Ask the correct question.

Why aren’t we asking the correct question?

Why after 40 years of cooperation between the Hospital Board and surgeons have the surgeons decided to build an Ambulatory Surgery Center?

The Hospital Incorporation Board has decided to run the show at CPH. They dictate the terms you must work under or else.

I have seen how it works. The hospital board pushed out the past anesthesiologist. They pushed out the radiologist and brought in temporary radiologists and threatened to do the same with the ER doctors.

Now, the hospital corporate board has bit off more than they can chew. When the surgeons were threatened to lose their livelihood, they were forced to take control of their economic future and build their own surgery center.

The Borough Assembly has ignored what is and has been happening at CPH.

When will the public to demand the truth at CPH before our community hospital and local health-care is destroyed.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/11/12 - 11:49 am
0
0
Ask the correct question.

Why aren’t we asking the correct question?

Why after 40 years of cooperation between the Hospital Board and surgeons have the surgeons decided to build an Ambulatory Surgery Center?

The Hospital Incorporation Board has decided to run the show at CPH. They dictate the terms you must work under or else.

I have seen how it works. The hospital board pushed out the past anesthesiologist. They pushed out the radiologist and brought in temporary radiologists and threatened to do the same with the ER doctors.

Now, the hospital corporate board has bit off more than they can chew. When the surgeons were threatened to lose their livelihood, they were forced to take control of their economic future and build their own surgery center.

The Borough Assembly has ignored what is and has been happening at CPH.

When will the public to demand the truth at CPH before our community hospital and local health-care is destroyed.

Norseman
3378
Points
Norseman 01/11/12 - 02:03 pm
0
0
disgruntled ex

Ray, you never miss a chance to diss the hospital. By now most of the entire peninsula knows you were fired from there and you probably won't have much good to say about CPH.

You appear to enjoy sowing seeds of hate and discontent everywhere you have ever lived. I'll bet Michigan celebrates the day you and norm left.

Anytime you can take an issue and throw fuel on it, you will.

granny
160
Points
granny 01/11/12 - 06:58 pm
0
0
Correct question

Ray has a point. The hospital has come to monopolize health care on the peninsula. In the big picture I don't know whether it's good or bad (probably somewhere in-between), but I do know they control what doctors are allowwed to see patients and patients own doctors are sometimes disallowed. Monopolies tend to get an attitude (H.E.A. for example). I think we do need more discussion. M. Schrag

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/11/12 - 07:49 pm
0
0
Norseman

I see you are consistent. I continue to ask you to define “disgruntled.

If you mean my unhappiness about the management style at CPH then I am disgruntled.

I am also consistent. I was fired from CPH in October 2010 for talking about the management style at the hospital. I filed with the National Labor Relations Board in November of 2010.
I continue to wait on the NLRB ruling about my firing. Must be a complicated case for the NLRB to take 14 months to investigate my extensive knowledge of what has been happening at CPH.

Regardless of what happens with my case, I hope the community will demand the Borough Assembly to investigate why CPH has been having so much problems.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/11/12 - 07:55 pm
0
0
M. Schrag

You are correct, it is very complicated. I have been a nurse for over 35 years. I have seen many changes in the delivery and reimbursement of healthcare.

Unless the community takes back the management from the self perpetuating Hospital Incorporation Board we will end up in a lose-lose situation with the ongoing abusive behavior.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/11/12 - 08:07 pm
0
0
M. Schrag

We need to remember HEA has an elected governing board and government oversight.

CPGH Incorporation is a private corporation under an unelected board and no government oversight.

CPH is truly an unchecked monopoly with the protection of Certificate of Need and a board that is not accountable to the people who own the hospital.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/11/12 - 08:07 pm
0
0
M. Schrag

We need to remember HEA has an elected governing board and government oversight.

CPGH Incorporation is a private corporation under an unelected board and no government oversight.

CPH is truly an unchecked monopoly with the protection of Certificate of Need and a board that is not accountable to the people who own the hospital.

Carver
1129
Points
Carver 01/15/12 - 12:22 pm
0
0
While I think much more

While I think much more discussion is needed on the subject, particularly from the docs wanting the new center, I gotta agree with Ray about CPGH Inc., the unelected, self-perpetuating board that runs the hospital.

Membership on the hospital board needs to be an elected position. It's far too easy for CPGH Inc. to become infatuated with administration. CPGH Inc. needs to become accountable to the voters and none other.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/15/12 - 04:08 pm
0
0
Why do the docs want the new center?

This is not about greed. It is about the Doctors protecting their livelihood.

I have seen the Hospital Corporate Board behavior towards the docs. In the past Dr. Bramante quit the Board because the members ignored his expert opinion on the delivery of care from someone who actually touched patients. Dr. Krull recently quit.

This CPGH Board ignores people who deliver care and go to financial experts on how to make money. Remember they found a for- profit corporation who wanted to purchase our hospital.

When I asked the board members what their medical background was, of the for-profit corporation, they answered they did not know. Somehow the Hospital Corporate Board believes financial experts are somehow healthcare experts.

Norseman
3378
Points
Norseman 01/15/12 - 05:07 pm
0
0
A disgrunteled, fired, ex

A disgrunteled, fired, ex employee of the hospital carries about as much weight on any topic concerning the hospital as a feather.

You refuse to pay taxes that the rest of us do so you can benefit from all the things our borough does.
The hospital is one of them. WE that pay borough taxes OWN this hospital.
It would be stupid of us to lose any part of the hospital to a private for profit.

We get the quality and excellent care at this hospital because of the fact we own it. As a shareholder of this hospital, I am against a for profit surgical center.

Sorry ray but you are old news when it comes to topics concerning the hospital. Anyone who was fired from a job already has "issues" with their ex employer. Yours are only too well known.

cheapersmokes
947
Points
cheapersmokes 01/15/12 - 05:43 pm
0
0
Surgical Center

I know that their are many reasons for an employee to get fired. Of-times is is simply questioning the decisions of management so they want them out before they expose them to the general public. If a group of Doctors want to pool their money and develop a surgical center I saw give them the chance to do so. I expect it to improve the overall performance of the general hospital in all areas which will make it better for all users.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/15/12 - 11:08 pm
0
0
Norseman

Norseman,
I am old and tired of your foolishness.

I opposed the abusive management style long before I was fired. In fact that was exactly why I was fired.

I have ownership of the hospital. Unlike many employees and borough citizens, I will do all I can from having the care destroyed at my hospital.

I worked there for eight years and put my heart and soul into caring for my patients. The surgeons have done the same.
I was fired and had to file with the NLRB. The surgeons have no other option to support their livelihood.

Surgeons are not protected by the NLRB and have no Union to speak for them. How can they save their jobs when threatened by the Hospital Corporate Board?

Norseman
3378
Points
Norseman 01/16/12 - 08:30 am
0
0
jobs

This has nothing to do with surgeons losing there jobs. This has to do with making money.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out.
The surgeons have known how to increase their profit margin.

They are NOT pursuing this because of touchy, feeley, group huggy feelings to benefit the community.
They are doing it because they know they can make a truck load of money.

You have personal problems with the hospital, that is your problem. The rest of us realize that it would NOT be in our best interests to have a surgical center in Kenai. That will bring our hospital down.

Quit spreading fear and lies about lost jobs. This has to do with surgeons making more money. It is that plain and simple.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/16/12 - 10:27 am
0
0
Norseman

Norseman,
Wow, you are actually starting to talk about an issue.

So, The surgeons are greedy, in your opinion, and I am a disgruntled ex-employee.

We disagree. Lets have an investigation into the hospital management and see what one of us understands the underlining problems at CPH.

Would you agree to that?

As far as spreading fear. I believe the hospital corporate board started spreading fear to the employees and community long before I ever did.

Carver
1129
Points
Carver 01/16/12 - 12:16 pm
0
0
This has to do with surgeons making more money.

I dunno, Norseman, whether it's that simple or not. I think rather it has to do with who controls health-care dollars, hospitals or docs. My take is that CPGH Inc. tried to play hard-ball with the docs and are now surprised and dismayed to find the docs playing hard-ball in return.

If that's the case and for better or for worse, who can blame the docs for wanting their own ball-game, out from under the dictates and whims of CPH administration and the control of CPGH Inc.?

I think we need a lot more discussion about what's going on, particularly do we need to hear the docs make a valid and candid case for the proposed surgery center. Tell us please, why your proposed venture won't be to the detriment of CPH and health-care delivery in general.

bewildered
9
Points
bewildered 01/16/12 - 12:47 pm
0
0
The surgeons all have their

The surgeons all have their own practices, how can the loose their lively hood when they perform surgeries at the hospital? They all have privileges. This argument makes no sense to me. "why would they now start this surgery center?" Isn’t the answer simple? : to make money. This is a business that if allowed to open will could potential implode health care and this community and we will all feel the blow.

Talk about monopolies: these surgeons will be the ones to decide if they do your surgery at all. You are giving them your right, putting it right in their hands. You will have no choice, no "new options". The surgeons will deiced when, where and if they will do the surgery you need, not you the patient, you won’t get to decide where your surgery is performed, they will schedule it at the surgery center - the surgeon owned and operated center.

This surgery center will not have any government entity to report to, no statistics on success rates, no public information on how many times they had a sentinel event, there are no watchdogs. Right now ALL surgeries performed at the hospital are reported in the overall performance posted on the Joint commission web site. http://www.jointcommission.org/standards_information/standards.aspx

bewildered
9
Points
bewildered 01/16/12 - 12:52 pm
0
0
The surgeons all have their

The surgeons all have their own practices, how can the loose their lively hood when they perform surgeries at the hospital? They all have privileges. This argument makes no sense to me. "why would they now start this surgery center?" Isn’t the answer simple? : to make money. This is a business that if allowed to open will could potential implode health care and this community and we will all feel the blow.

Talk about monopolies: these surgeons will be the ones to decide if they do your surgery at all. You are giving them your right, putting it right in their hands. You will have no choice, no "new options". The surgeons will deiced when, where and if they will do the surgery you need, not you the patient, you won’t get to decide where your surgery is performed, they will schedule it at the surgery center - the surgeon owned and operated center.

This surgery center will not have any government entity to report to, no statistics on success rates, no public information on how many times they had a sentinel event, there are no watchdogs. Right now ALL surgeries performed at the hospital are reported in the overall performance posted on the Joint commission web site. http://www.jointcommission.org/standards_information/standards.aspx

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/16/12 - 01:03 pm
0
0
Carver

You understand. It is all about playing "Hard-ball."

In the end, the people will lose unless we the people take control of the Corporate Board.

Knowing and working with the surgeons for 8 years, I do not think it is about money as much as control of their own medical practice.

Ask the surgical nurses at CPH about the hours they work. I wonder if patients are at risk because the nurses are working tired. Of course we know what happens to nurses, if you start speaking about the risks to patients at CPH.

Alaska passed laws protecting patients from over worked nurses. Hospital corporations only look at their bottom line and believe nurses are super human. Make a mistake after working long and hard hours and they boot the nurse. I have seen it happen. Not to me, but to others.

Carver
1129
Points
Carver 01/16/12 - 03:12 pm
0
0
You understand. It is all about playing "Hard-ball."

It ain't exactly rocket-science, Ray. And here the public sits, caught in the middle with neither side, not Inc. and not the docs, telling us the whole story.

Inc. has, as I see it, plainly put the docs in a situation they wish to change by opening their own surgical facility.
The hospital has been hiring docs right and left in competition with long-standing, area docs, and the docs' discontent is understandable though perhaps not justifiable. Is Inc. being entirely candid and open with the public? Why, all of a sudden, are the docs unhappy?

Same with the docs. It's hard to imagine that the docs want a new surgical facility just so they can help lower health costs. What's the real reason? Less competition? More control?

No, the public, as I see it, is caught in the middle, being fed less than the whole picture by both sides of the issue. Both sides are mounting their appeals to the public in terms of catch-phrases, emotion, and sound bites, and I doubt many area residents are fooled by such tactics.

Lower costs, free enterprise, the public good and other such malarkey don't cut it. Both Inc. and the docs need to 'fess up and tell us what's really going on.

bewildered
9
Points
bewildered 01/16/12 - 04:21 pm
0
0
This is not the first rodeo

This is not the first rodeo for this surgery center issue, check with the state of Alaska commissioner, he (Zirul) has filled before under a different business name.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/16/12 - 07:16 pm
0
0
Carver-Some of the Facts

So, how do we get to the truth?

I believed senior management was the problem. I was wrong. The problems are the direct result of the management style of CPGH Inc. board, with the blessing of the Borough Assembly.

Let me list some of the issues I am aware of since 2006.

Facts-

OR nurse is fired in December of 2006 for a careless error after working long hard hours. After three months of my documentation on the issue of nursing fatigue and how it relates to errors she was reinstated. She received all but two weeks of her back pay and all back benefits.

Spring of 2008. Imaging techs came to me wanting union protection with the Alaska Nurses Association.

Spring of 2008. A Housekeeper contacted the Laborers’ Union, for protection, of the management style, she believed ignored racial discrimination and sexual harassment.

Summer of 2008 an Imaging tech was fired after having an argument with a outside rent-a -doc. The previous radiologist had been pushed out and several rent-a-docs replaced him for months. The Imaging tech sued the hospital and won his case.

Summer 2008. The imaging techs are told by the CEO the department is a “cesspool of garbage.” In the spring of 2009 the CEO acknowledged he called their department a “cesspool” and apologized after I made the comment public.

November of 2008. One day after another Imaging employee was fired, he came back with a gun. An internal investigation established it was an arbitrary event that no one could see coming.

Spring of 2009-Nurses Union President is disciplined because she encouraged nurses to fill out a survey on patient care and send it in anonymously. (Independent company -Mountain Pacific Quality Health) Administration wanted to collect the independent survey and send it in. Later her discipline was removed after a filing with the National Labor Relations Board.

September 2009. A nurse is disciplined after writing a letter to the CEO. Two weeks later the discipline is removed and shredded in my presence.

October 2009- The Alaska Nurses Association (AaNA) has Dr. Judith Briles as our keynote speaker at our Statewide Conference. Her topic “Sabotage! How to deal with the Pit Bulls, Skunks, Scorpions & Slugs in the Health Care Workplace.”

October, 2009. The voting members of the Alaska Nurses Association General Assembly unanimously agreed to a new resolution pertaining to Workplace Bullying in Healthcare. This is do, in part, because of the information given to the leadership of the AaNA, from nurses at CPH.

October 12,2009- The elected Hospital Service Area Board unanimously vote to have an operational audit of CPGH INC.. The Borough Assembly rejects the idea.

I could go on but it is already too lengthy.
So I ask the question. It the problem the surgeons or the CPGH INC. board?

Carver
1129
Points
Carver 01/17/12 - 07:33 am
0
0
And another thing . . .

We might do well to remember that this mess is being brought to us by the same folks who concocted the need to sell the hospital—CPGH Inc. What has happened that after years of working hand-in-glove with area physicians, our hospital's management has now put our docs in a position where they feel the need for their own facility?

CPH was initially conceived as a social instrument, as a place for area docs to ply their trade to the benefit of area residents. But all such social instruments inevitably become institutions with a life of their own, no longer serving the purpose for which they were originally implemented, but rather intent on perpetuating the bureaucratized institution they have become.

And here we are. From a place for docs to do what doctors do, CPGH Inc. has put CPH in competition with area physicians. Whatever the outcome of the current issue, our hospital needs a new system of oversight. CPGH Inc. should be dissolved and a new board put in its place, and membership of the new board should be an elected position. It's my opinion that Inc. is not answerable to the public it is supposed to serve. Instead, Inc. is preoccupied with the perpetuation of CPH as bureaucracy in competition with area physicians.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 01/17/12 - 08:03 am
0
0
Carver

Carver,

I hope you will be at the Borough Assembly meeting tonight and speak your thoughts. You are right on target.

We face a lose-lose situation with the current two choices.

Carver
1129
Points
Carver 01/17/12 - 09:43 am
0
0
I hope you will be at the Borough Assembly meeting tonight . . .

Waste of time . . been there, done that to no avail.

If Assembly members haven't the sense to be reading these comments here, they'd neither know nor care about public opinion if it hit them up-side the head.

Change, if it happens, always happens from the bottom up, never from the top down. Until then, the good-ol'-boy system is what we get .

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