June 20, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 25

Editorial

Public deserves to know about PMC business office issues

The public deserves a complete and candid explanation from the Petersburg Medical Center administrative staff concerning the allegations and information presented at the May meeting of the board by Ramona Thompson, an employee of PMC just prior to her termination before the board meeting on May 23.

At that meeting, Thompson presented a long list of problems at the facility that have resulted in billing errors, loss of billable income, a warning from Medicare and other concerns.

Thompson charged that department heads are not working with the business office to complete paperwork that will allow bills to be completed accurately and distributed in a timely manner.

Finally, and most concerning, is the fact that Thompson was terminated just prior to the meeting of the board, when it was known that she had prepared a report to present to the board at that evening's meeting.

This newspaper has requested comments from PMC’s CEO Liz Woodyard on the stories printed in the May 30 and June 13 newspapers, and responses have not been provided.

Citizens need to know what is going to happen to the PMC business office. Many are still talking about the incident this spring when some patient bills were sent to the collection agency in error. Will additional business office staffing be put in place? Why was Ramona Thompson terminated just prior to the May 23 meeting? How will the billing backlog be brought current? Are other potential fines from Medicare or other sources pending?

Health care is expensive. Our community deserves to have the highest level of care at the lowest possible cost, and with these unanswered questions still pending, we can’t be sure Petersburg is getting the best deal possible when it comes to health care services.

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