Final Mediation to Commence between El Paso Children’s Managers and the University Medical Center
An ongoing dispute between the El Paso Children’s Hospital and the University Medical Center Board of Managers over control over the hospital’s finances is set to enter the final stage of mediation. The board had given the hospital a deadline to accept or formally deny terms for a settlement proposed by the board. The hospital did not respond, prompting the board to seek a final round of mediation.
The board claims that every day the issue is not resolved, the hospital owes an additional $33,000 to the board, on top of a debt topping $90 million. The financial state of the hospital prompted the board to demand control over operations, but the hospital has resisted despite their precarious financial situation, insisting that the hospital must have independence in order to provide the best care to their young patients.
The board, for its part, insists that it does not want control over medical decisions, only over the finances of the hospital. Instead of negotiating, the hospital has considered filing for bankruptcy to gain some measure of protection from the board, but the board has criticized this ideas overly dramatic and suggests that sitting down to negotiate a settlement would be a more productive way to approach the situation.
The Medical Center is scheduled to stop providing services to the Children’s Hospital on March 25th if a settlement isn’t reached before that date, leaving the Children’s Hospital and its patients in a precarious situation.