Letter to the editor: Transparency needed from our county hospital


To the editor:

The director of the Hancock Regional Hospital has been prominently featured as opposing a bill in the Legislature that would allow the public see the many millions of dollars of Medicaid payments that the hospital has received from the 31 nursing homes that it sort of owns (the agreements with them say that they will run the nursing homes but the hospital gets the Medicaid money).

I guess that the reason for secrecy is that they don’t want us to know about the speculative manner in which the money is being spent.

But I can tell you that they are spending $23M hoping to develop the property around Gateway at Mt. Comfort Rd. and I-70, and $31M to relocate some of their side businesses south of the Greenfield Banking Co.

This could be very dangerous to the health of our hospital. First, Congress never intended nursing home Medicaid money to be handed over to hospitals, and they may stop it, and second, there is a recent decision in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that now allows all nursing homes to be sued by those residents who were savaged by COVID. That amounts to a possible liability of hundreds of millions of dollars that might have to be paid out by the hospital’s nursing homes.

This is OUR county hospital. Instead of keeping everything a secret, they ought to be very open to us by publically showing the facts.

Karl Belt