Commissioner Ritz and the Med

Commissioner Ritz and the Med

The article this morning in the CA concerning Mike Ritz and the Med is an example of governmental bullying and intimidation. Was the filing of a complaint the right action? I don’t know. But someone has to stand up and take some action to stop the diversion of money intended for the Med but diverted at the state level. Why are local officials not united on demanding the Med’s fair share?

Here are two items sent out by Mike. One shows what federal money the Med should get and what they in fact do get. The other shows what the Med gets compared to other public service hospitals in Tennessee. Here is Commissioner Ritz’s explanation of the spreadsheets. 

The Recent Federal Payments worksheet shows ( Line A) that since FY 2005 the state has received between $61,186, 225 to $91,828,402 annually from the Federal government based on the MED’s uncompensated care BUT , per Line 5, has only returned $18,896,518 to $38,596,759 of those annual payments to the MED. If the state wants to count their GME payments (Line 6), 2% cigarette tax payments (Line 7) and two old special purpose grant programs (Lines 8&9), then all the state payments still only total $23,961,771 to $44,784,610 annually to the MED.

The worksheet comparing the MED to the other state teaching and public hospitals shows that only three public hospitals in Tennessee have uncompensated care for which the federal government sends reimbursements to Tennessee. Those 3 hospitals are the MED, Erlanger and Metro. Those 3 hospitals had uncompensated care over $161 million recently reimbursed to the state. However those 3 hospitals only received $58 million back from the state for this care. The state used over $100 million of the federal reimbursements for other state health care expenses. For the MED that year over $84 million was collected by the state on the MED’s unpaid billings but the MED only received  $34.4 million. The state that year kept $49.7 million of federally reimbursed MED billings for other state uses.

It is not fair or equitable for the MED to be in its current financial condition or for Shelby County Government taxpayers to have to pay more than they currently pay ($27,000,000.00 annually).

We understand that  federal law and Tenncare rules provide/allow the Governor to exercise discretion for its use and allocation of these public hospital uncompensated care reimbursements from the federal government, however the current situation is not fair or equitable to Memphis and Shelby taxpayers, citizens or voters.

PS: How can we legitimately ask the States of Mississippi and Arkansas to reimburse us for their uncompensated care when our own state treats the MED this way? 

Read and decide for yourself.

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