Thursday, November 10, 2011

For-profit hospitals stop funding MedVans for elderly patients

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 5:02 PM

This winter may be a lot tougher for some disabled or elderly people in Spokane.

Many of these people relied on Northwest MedVan, a service through Inland Northwest Health Services that transports elderly and disabled patients from their homes to appointments at Sacred Heart, Holy Family, Deaconess and Valley hospitals, as well as Rockwood Clinic locations and St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute.

But now, Community Health Systems, the for-profit multi-state corporation that owns Rockwood Clinic and Deaconess and Valley Hospitals, has stopped paying for those services. That means patients going to appointments at Sacred Heart, St. Luke’s and Holy Family can use MedVans for transportation, but those going to Rockwood, Deaconess and Valley Hospitals no longer can.

In October, INHS’s chief operating officer, Nancy Vorhees, was told by her accounting department that they hadn’t received payment from Community Health Services for August or September. Then, in a meeting on Oct. 3rd with leadership from Deaconess and Valley Hospitals, she says, the leadership told her that, from their perspective, it wasn’t something they should be doing.

“I was surprised,” Vorhees says. “I had thought they would continue providing this program.” The leadership also informed INHS that they would no longer be chipping in to fund Community Health Education and Resources, INHS’s program to educate community members on health issues.

Last year, MedVan provided 16,856 total transports for the year. But so far this year, they’ve have had even more — 18,506 total transports through October. About 23 percent of those were from CHS hospitals.

Kirsten Carlile, director of the MedVan program, made a personal call to all the patients remaining on the schedule and explained what happened. (She also sent this letter.)

“Some were shocked, some were angry,” Carlile says. “We were disappointed with the decision Deaconess and Valley had made.” Calls were made to spokespeople from Valley, Deaconess and Rockwood this afternoon, but were not returned.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: ,

More by Daniel Walters

  • Rich Man, Poor Men
  • Rich Man, Poor Men

    Can the wealthiest U.S. president ever help the poorest U.S. citizens?
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • CMR and MLK
  • CMR and MLK

    Congresswoman among community leaders responding to post-election racial slurs; plus, remembering Judge Sam Cozza
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • The Other Washington
  • The Other Washington

    Our local state representatives and senators gear up for another year of fights over education, taxes and crime
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
People Rise Up! A Community Invitation to Action

People Rise Up! A Community Invitation to Action @ Community Building

Sat., Jan. 21, 2-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Top Topics in Bloglander

News (123)

Music (30)

Arts & Culture (23)

For Fun! (16)

Sports (12)

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation