Board of Commissioners,
West Volusia Hospital Authority,
131 E. New York Ave.,
P.O. Box 509,
DeLand, FLA 32721.
To the Board:
Subject: The $86,000 Late Bill from Ormond
I am far from pleased to hear that Ormond is unable to issue their bills for indigent care timely. At the last meeting, we were asked to consider paying year-old bills which had not been submitted before the deadline. The deadline was mutually agreed between our accountant and Ormond.
Frankly, I find a one-year deadline to be more than generous. Even in that time, there are myriad opportunities for information to be lost, for people to move away before we can check indigency, for data to become stale or corrupt. However, in this matter I defer to our accountant, who says that he can work with a year of open possibilities.
Extending the time leaves us open forever to more charges, whose investigation becomes nearly impossible with the passage of time. Grant a month today, three months tomorrow, another year this fall; eventually well have to worry about the entire hospital receivables over a forty-year lease! Our potential liabilities could range from zero to mind-boggling, and we wont even know how much we may owe.
If I have a deadline by which I must get work in, I get that work done on time, allowing for shipping. If I may have to revise the work, I make a point of allowing for this. Ormond should do the same.
In this case, the amount lost to Ormond is small: most hospitals write off far more indigent care and never get paid by the taxpayers. While the amount is small, the message should be clear: you know the rules; you have a year; do the work timely. Even denying this small amount will help to send the message that were going to follow the rules.
Finally, if Ormond is so desperate that they must send Pat West to beg for $86,000, as seen at the last meeting, then we should be concerned about their financial stability. As they are operating our hospital, and have given other signs of weakness (eg: unable to keep up accreditation), we may be asked to bail them out at some point.
Posting of this letter is a paid political advertisement provided by Tanner Andrews, P.O. Box 1208, DeLand 32721, independent of any campaign or committee. This material is also on display at the offices of the West Volusia Hospital Authority. No candidate has approved this material.