Tuesday, January 06, 2009


It looks like Kingston is on the map. Once again, it's for the wrong reason.

The NY Attorney General's office has listed Benedictine Hospital as one of seven facilities that committed fraud in billing the state and fed. This would be one of the rare times that the city government or the crime stats weren't the cause of the publicity.

Benedictine Hospital, located in Ward Nine, runs an alcohol and substance-abuse treatment program. One of many throughout the city of Kingston. The AGs office claims they don't have a license to operate such a program, and thus, were not permitted to seek reimbursement from the state.

The Kingston General Hospital has always kept their license up to date and handles hundreds of detox patients every year without significant issues. So how is it that millions in tax dollar funding could be sought through Benedictine's program without someone watching the paperwork?

Granted, an Alderman for the city has no responsibility for the workings of a business, not for profit or Hospital, but this doesnt bode well for the City of Kingston and her reputation in the region. Thousands of people in need look to our healthcare facilities here in Kingston. This is not the best way to stimulate the awareness of their quality service.

If the AG is right, and the Hospital was operating the program without the proper authority to do so...what will the tax payer have to swallow? Almost 400 cases between 2002 and 2005 are the focus of this investigation. We were asked to pay for it once through state funding. We want to know how will the hospital make good on the money spent? The fines alone, will hit us for about a grand per case if found guilty.

On top of that, when will the Doctors and Nurses stop speeding through this residential neighborhood around the hospital?


Anonymous said...

The papers claim this will have NO affect on the merger. Does anyone trust this notion?

The struggle to get the two hospitals in compliance with the wishes of the AG in the first place made many locals uneasy.

Just the accusation of fraud within either of their programs has got to make a mess of things. What say ye?

Joe Bubel said...

Intent should definately be the focus of this investigation. If Bene was operating without a license, but operating within the norms of the program, a slap on the wrists should be sufficient. Bene provided a nescessary and productive service, especially here in the social programs capital of the Hudson Valley.

Anonymous said...

if Bene ends up paying a fine will they just use part of the 40 mil that the state gave them to do the merger?

Is this the reason why Tom Dee resigned last week?

Anonymous said...

Paperwork, the boon to mankind- Just think if Tut or one of his relatives had thrown away the papyrus and said memorize it and whatever you do "do not write it down". Seriously, Bene's statement is that they were working within the confines of Kingston's licences- But Mike you're right to ask the question. And yer take on the speeders is equally as important- now lets get back on KAPA and talk about these problems within the city.
also what with Ch 20 - It looks like a KHS station- It is supposed to be the Public, Education Channel- what gives?
Shelly Z

Anonymous said...

You would have to think any monetary penalty would have any effect on their business practices.
This is the front line in a war with the healthcare/Pharmaceutical industry, and we the people are losing.

Anonymous said...

All i know is that the staff @ Benedictine helped keep me alive for 9 years until i got my life saving operation in NYC & they were compassionate, helpful, professional & immensely qualified so this is just a pimple in my opinion.
THEY SAVE LIVES !!! end of story -

Anonymous said...

Is this associated with a problem that occured at a Bene-affiliated walk-in clinic here in the City? I know a doctor was "let go" in that case, which allegedly had to do with a number of other things, as well as botched paperwork / billing procedures.

Whatever the case, a good doctor got lost in THAT mix - and it appears (to me) that the real issues were covered up...

As were (allegedly) some "problems" (a nasty business, this...) associated with a couple of high-ranking employees at a medical facility (affilated with both Kingston and Bene hospitals) on Grand Street.

Such is life, I guess. But this is all pretty sad. Our society has apparently left a lot of values and ethics by the wayside - whilst in pursuit of the big bucks - and yes, as we speed through life - we (1) miss the beauty and (2) put a lot of other folks at risk.

There was also a substance-abuse clinic up in Saugerties that allegedly closed under questionable circumstances. And I have actually heard someone say that when they left one of the local treatment centers, they moved in with one of their counselors... who "just happened" (it is a crazy world out there, isn't it?) to be a drug dealer...

True or false? I don't know. But one thing is certain...

Maybe it is best to be an "informed consumer" (to the degree possible) - or to STOP consuming (in this area of life, as as in many others) - because if the Hypocratic (sp?) oath, the Code of Ethics associated with psychological counseling, and other such documents (like the "U.S. Constitution" and "Bill of Rights"?) mean nothing at this point - the U.S.A. is in a sad state of disrepair - indeed!

Sorry, a bit depressed today...

Any (lol) SAFE, LEGITIMATE and AFFORDABLE suggestions?


Diederick said...

So, do I understand correct: the hospital funding is partly coming from taxes, so if the hospital screws up, the tax-payers have to cough up the fines?

Anonymous said...

No Diederick, you are not correct. If the hospital is found liable, IT will cough up whatever fines are assessed.
As for the post about the health clinic, I personally would prefer that this information continue to be held close to the vest for obvious reasons. You can probably figure those out also with some thought if you do not know already. I know what you know from the same source. What it will mean in the end happens to involve very heavily the legal outcome of the process of the court sorting out the FACTS IN DISPUTE in this case. Benedictine asserts it had the proper license. The Complaint claims it did not. This seems a relatively simple matter to prove or disprove this part. If the hospital did not have the requisite license, the case goes forward;if it did have the requisite license, that's the end of it.
So my point is whether or not this directly impacts upon the general impression of whether some overall greed resulting in malfeasance by hospital administration occurred is yet to be determined, and making inference in terms of the happenings last year at the clinic at this point one way or the other is jumping the gun. If we assume for the sake of argument that the case goes forward, then we have the matter of what the evidence is of fraud and how will that be seen by a jury....a couple very important--yet UNRESOLVED questions and issues at this stage. Incompetence in oversight and training and deliberate malfeasance are really two different things.
There is a very old saying that applies here, which is this:FIRST make SURE you are RIGHT...THEN go ahead. The public simply doesn't know the facts yet, nor could it possibly know what a jury would conclude should the case go forward.

Anonymous said...

There is also a rumor floating around that Benedictine CEO Tom Dee had a $3 million golden parachute upon his departure... can this be true ???