There is a very important aspect of the proposed Operating Lease Agreement with University of Colorado Health (“UCH”) which has gone completely without notice, explanation or public comment. I have read the proposed Integration and Affiliation Agreement and the Operating Lease Agreement and find no mention of the issue.
Memorial Hospital is currently owned by the City of Colorado Springs. For that reason it enjoys governmental immunity under the statutes of Colorado. Consequently, all persons must file a notice of claim to the appropriate persons as a jurisdictional prerequisite to filing a legal claim against Memorial Hospital. UCS is also a governmental entity which also requires notice of claim to be served within 180 days. No significant change on this issue.
However, what has not been addressed to my knowledge is the potential change in the caps on damages which may be awarded in cases of preventable medical error. The governmental immunity act limits any and all damages against a public entity to $150,000. While this may be sufficient for some cases, it clearly is not sufficient to compensate a person who has suffered a catastrophic injury or death.
According to the Institute of Medicine, preventable medical errors kill as many as 98,000 Americans every year, and injure countless more. If the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were to include preventable medical errors as a category, it would be the sixth leading cause of death in America. While it is hoped that UCH will operate a better safer system for all patients, it is a fact that preventable medical errors resulting in serious injury and death will not be eliminated. The operation of the UCS system in its present form is proof of that fact.
The City of Colorado Springs has a history of acting responsibly to the citizens of this region with regard to preventable medical errors by adopting a resolution which replaces the $150,000 cap. Pursuant to Resolution 6-99, The City of Colorado Springs has waived the damage limitations set forth in the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act to the extent of recovery available under the Colorado Health Care Availability Act (the same as any non-governmental entity). Memorial Health Systems, Inc. is insured under two liability policies with total coverage in the amount of $11,000,000.00. The City of Colorado Springs decided that this was the right and responsible thing to do to ensure that the citizens of the Pikes Peak Region and beyond are afforded adequate compensation in the event of serious injury or death as a result of preventable medical error.
The citizens of Colorado Springs should carefully consider this aspect of the proposed agreement with UCS and require that, as part of the agreement, UCS makes itself responsible to the citizens of Colorado Springs through the passing of a similar resolution to continue to ensure that claims under the UCS Operating Lease Agreement does not leave the citizens of this region with a completely inadequate remedy if they suffer serious injury or death as a result of a preventable medical error in the Memorial Health System. If not the proposed Operating Lease Agreement should be rejected.
Incidentally, the 1988 Health Care Availability Act (HCAA) [C.R.S.§§ 13-64-101, et seq.] contains several limitations on damages. Recovery against all health care professionals and institutions is limited to a total of $1,000,000, including punitive damages. Within the $1,000,000 limit, noneconomic losses are subject to a limit of $300,000. However, the judge in a medical malpractice case is allowed to enter a judgment exceeding the $1,000,000 recovery cap only in specific instances on good cause shown. For example, the 15 million dollar verdict mentioned in another article was severely reduced before judgment was entered due to the HCAA caps.
Why can't I find anything on how this will affect current employees of Memorial Hospital or what safeguards are in place to ensure jobs will not be lost or employees laid off? Your article says staff will be kept for "6 months" and after that?? Will pay cuts or lay-offs follow in 6 months time? My wife is employed by Memorial Hospital and there is no mention of this in all of the meetings that have been held to "inform" staff of what is happening. Colorado Springs running the hospital system may not be the answer, but a little more transparency on how this will affect peoples livelihoods would be nice.
A fair and balanced review of the referendum. It should be noted, however, that CS has substantial voice in the governance of the future Memorial; they have 140 pages of contract and integration plan locking in how the new Memorial will operate over the next forty years, plus, starting in nine years, there's an annual renegotiation of the lease, meaning there's plenty of opportunity for Colorado Springs to continue to exert its influence over the new merger. What the City gives up in not being on the Hospital Board is the day-to-day management of the hospital. Let's see... maintain the city's control over the financially struggling, market-share losing hospital, or merge it with the #1 ranked hospital system in the state of Colorado? Most taxpayers here in Colorado Springs would see that as a positive, not a negative. Last, you infer that Memorial employees have greater job security under the current situation than they would have under the new UCH agreement. How so? UCH has agreed to do something the City has not, which is guarantee everybody's job for six months. Under current policy, the City could let go tomorrow morning 1,000 employees at Memorial, which they'll probably have to do the morning after the election if it fails.
How are we, as a community, going to allow this from an elected official? What do we need to do to put our foot down? It is a public office that this mayor holds, and as such, he cannot be allowed to continue to act in the pompous way he has been acting.
Everyone wanting to see the purposed lease agreement developed by the committee (I would bet the RFL did it) should look at this link: http://www.springsgov.com/units/communicat…
The board on 2 September 2011 was talking about developing a lease and on 7 September 2011 I got a copy of the lease sent to me by the city dated 9 September 2011. Seems really interesting they were talking about how detailed and depth the lease needed to be and the 5 days later it is released. Those that trust the process would assume they burned the midnight oil, others would say there is something rotten here and everything sure looks preplanned and a fraud. Come on Colorado Springs we can do better than this
All of you need to read the minutes of the meeting from 9/2/11 on the following website. http://www.springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=… It is interesting that NONE of the questions asked by citizens who attended the meeting or the answers provided by the committee were included in the minutes. It seems because of the high level of concern about how the Mayor and the RLF having free reign to have secretive meetings and backroom deals without the requirements of transparency under the Open Meetings act and the Sunshine law the board didn’t choose to make that part of the official record. Sure looks like records tampering to me. They didn’t even record the Mayors childish statement that he would remove himself from the committee if he had to obey the law.
So let me get this right….The Mayor, an elected official inserted himself into the process and then says if he has to be held accountable for what he says he is out of the deal. Isn’t he an elected official 24 hours and day and is accountable to the citizens of this city in everything he does and says? What happened to his own promise to be open and transparent? Oh sorry….I forgot…that was only campaign promise. MR Mayor…. YOU LIED!
Here are my other 2 cents:
Memorial Hospital (MH) has been working very hard on transparency within and without the organization, so it was a shock to hear our elected city officials want to side step transparency involving one of Colorado Springs greatest assets. The Mayor was visibly absent from todays important meeting, as he was attending to another "important" meeting, he did send someone to be there on his behalf. He appears to be incommunicato with the citizens who are supporting MH. He blatently indicated at the last meeting that he was going to do and talk with who he wants. Whenperson in his role , has not held this kind of office before, he should have advisors helping him to understand appropriate tact, rules & regulations of his office.
In-action often appears as opposition. When he does not refute accusations, or answer public inquiries, he leaves the public open to assumptions. If he wants them to think differently then he needs to speak to ALL parties involved, not just those that will support his mission of financial gain for the city at the expense of MH.
Many individuals have asked him if he really understands how for-profits work with regard to Pediatrics. Pediatrics care is not a huge profit source, and are not often supported in a for-profit institutions. Google and research this information yourselves. Get educated on this subject, it is so important.
I'm not sure the public truly understands its ONLY Childrens Hospital access in Southern Colorado has the potential to go away, with a transtion to a for-profit. That means your children/babies wont be able to be cared for here. Individuals will have to drive to Denver be taken care of. When your child/infant is in a crisis or trauma, time will be lost in life-flighting them to Denver (this is NOT a slight to Memorial Star or Life Flight, who are absolutely vital to MH), not to mention that time wasted (over an hour)for the families to travel there to be with their children, also leaving their support systems behind. Its just NOT an option to be without a Childens Hospital.
I know personally of individuals that have emailed and called the Mayor to discuss the possibilities either way, profit or non-profit, with no return call or email. Mayor Bach, if you dont know something, just admit it, but please don't leave people hanging. Give them feedback so they can seek to be better informed.
Memorial has not and will not stand for being a cash cow for immediate gratification in solving a city debt issue. Memorial has a strong purpose here and a vision that stretches far into the future working to protect the healthcare of our families and children, locally. As a non-profit, Memorial will be able to grow and expand to fill the needs of Southerm Colorado, with decisions that can be made HERE, not in a "corporate" headquarters in some other state that knows nothing about Colorado or the uniqueness of Colorado Springs. Poudre Valley is hugely successful in their bid to remain a non-profit, and are waiting, with the University of Colorado Hospital, to partner with Memorial and help it grow.(Again, Google and do your own research regarding Poudre Valley, become informed about the fantastic programs and care being done there).
These are the kinds of conversations (about the future and unlimited potential for growth) that the Mayor should be having with his citizens, who elected him. Right now the preception is HCA/Health One (for profit) has him in their pockets, and speaking money solutions with him. When chosing two individuals with much real estate experience, and a former corporation administrator as your "collaborators", and indicating he wants to speak when and how he wants with them, but wont answer the publics questons and concerns, what other conclusions is the public left to draw???? He appears to be only in support of leading MH to the bidder than can bring him the most cash. Not the case? Then he needs to voice it.
At the next Task Force meeting the Task Force will review a document submitted today from Memorial employees and citizens signed with over 1800 plus (still growing I understand) signatures calling for itegrity and transparency from the Mayor, City Council and Task Force members in this process. This is about an assest that belongs to the citizens of Colorado Springs and Memorial stands behind their right to know and understand what is happening in each step of the process.
I am an employee of MH, have been and will be a patient of MH, and am a citizen of Colorado Springs.
Anyone who doubts Memorials HUGE potential if Memorial was free of city rule to partner with Poudre Valley (PV) and the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) read and research this article Poudre Valley, and UCH
I just cast my vote in favor of 2C and against 300.
Why should I vote yes when the State of Colorado already takes my tax money and use it for whatever they deem necessary. We make the money they take the money. Stormwater Enterprise is another sore topic of mine. Stormwater Enterprise is another form of TAXES created by small minded politicians in the city counsel who were afraid to say the words "MORE TAXES" in public. Smaller Government (State and/or City) is better, get back to basics and live within your budget. You do have a budget , don't you? If people must lose their jobs please let it be yours.
This is a great day for Colorado Springs. Thank God the liberal cry of "tax, spend, tax spend" was answered with a resounding "No!" I am impressed that people didn't fall for the scare tactics about saftey and parks. There are many areas that can be cut besides those. Besides, seeing how they mishandled 43 million dollars, why would I give them 45 million more?
Looks bad for 2C and 300 looks like it's going to pass. While I am not happy with either, I was also a little torn. Raising the property tax to cover an immediate budget shortfall with not end date in sight for the increase was the issue. As for the stormwater enterprise, while I see the need to improve our infrastructure, the creation of the enterprise essentially resulted in a tax that did not go to the public for approval. With that said, I'm saddened that too many in this city complain but are unwilling to pony up and contribute to solutions (which also means paying for them). We need to seriously think about how we expect to improve our roads, public safety, schools and other essential services. At some point, we are going to have to pay for these services. Privatizing isn't always the answer (often that just shifts costs).
Again, I say: When the city counsel starts being responsible with the money they have, then maybe they can have more. But, when the voters increase sales tax for Roads & Bridges (which was desperately needed) and the city counsel takes 3 million from that budget for other things....then NO, they can't have any more money. They need to cut back their spending and take pay cuts like everyone else.
How do I donate money to pass 300 and defeat 2C?
I was born in Detroit, and after 22 years I left. Detroit is in the situation it is in from too much goverment spending and outragous taxes. The high taxation caused many to move out to the suburbs, leaving only the poor and no one to pay the taxes. Many business have left the city, because of the taxes. In addition, the poor schools have left many with substandard education, not qualified to even work the few menial jobs that are available.
There is no question that the city needs to manage money better. There are many things that the city can and should outsource and doesn't. However, we need to pass 2C, reform TABOR and defeat 300. If you want this city to stay great then it needs to stay safe, parks need to be maintained, and it takes more revenue than we are spending right now. This is not a lot of money. Even the G which typically has a Libertarian slant is for 2C. Your property values will fall if there is a run down park in your neighborhood. Your property values will fall if the crime rates go up. Your insurance costs will go up if the crime rates climb. And so on.... You will pay one way or the other. At least a vote for 2C will save our quality of life.
What happens to 2C if, in practice, $46,600,000 is raised or only $45,500,000 is raised. Will legislation be nulled?
As a long-time resident of Colorado Springs, I have seen this city run by retirees, developers and others wanting various initiatives passed during "in-between" years just to hedge their bet on a small voter turn-out. Doug Bruce is infamous for his initiatives during these periods and his initiative 300 is another illustration of one that is worded, "Enterprise...," in a way that may confuse the voters not understanding the consequences of a yes vote. Only the well-informed will truly understand and question the long-term consequences. As for 2C, I agree with making sure our safety, fire and health services are first and foremost administered to, but the context brevity leaves numerous questions as to how it will be used. I suggest both of these initiatives be voted down and re-worded to depict what it means to the taxpayer for next year's general election when (hopefully) more voters will vote and we can get a true depiction of what the silent majority really want for Colorado Springs.
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