There continues to be concern in WNC communities with HCA’s buyout of Mission Hospital and its affiliates. The first opportunity for Yancey and Mitchell County residents to address those concerns face-to-face will be tomorrow evening at the Burnsville Town Center from 5:30 to 7 pm.
The meeting is a listening session held by Gibbins Advisors, the firm that has been hired to monitor HCA’s compliance with the obligations they agreed to when they acquired the hospital system. Monday evening’s meeting held in Buncombe County included a harsh critique of HCA’s first year of operation with questions about lack of transparency concerning charity care, aggressive staff cuts, the loss of numerous physicians and billing issues including a new “facility charge” that has been added to the outpatient clinics. HCA apologized for not being transparent about the new fee, but did not roll back the fee, and it is in addition to the co-pay.
Patients have reported that this fee can surpass $100 a visit and is charged toward their deductibles. Gibbins Advisors is aware that some people with direct knowledge of problems or concerns may be wary about an impact on their careers if they are seen at a public meeting or if they speak out, so they have set up an option to report anonymously online. Those with concerns can go to independentmonitormhs.com and fill out the word “anonymous” in the space for you name.