Entries Tagged 'Sanford Hospital' ↓

Is Sanford the ‘Pirates’ of Healthcare?

I will have to admit, I about spit out my drink when I read this;

From the start, the two entities had a clash of cultures. Krabbenhoft and his executive team were viewed as swashbuckling. They had money and ambition.

I also think it did not help they were being investigated for Medicare Fraud and later fined $20 Million.

But for UnityPoint’s regional leaders, the Asfora announcement weighed heavily, leading to concerns about whether Sanford was more committed to money than patients.

Just look at who the hospital is named after, the Pirate of the Credit Card industry. Or look at the massive sports complex they have built. It often makes me scratch my head when lawmakers basically let Sanford do what they want to, do not regulate them or reign them in but instead incentivize them, and when these same lawmakers get sick they run to Minnesota. I can’t say I don’t blame them.

Sanford says they did nothing wrong, but still paid a $20 million dollar settlement (fine)

With Trump as president we seem to be living in this world where the truth and facts don’t matter, only what those in power can convince the public of what they believe the truth is.

Sanford’s statement isn’t surprising;

Sanford denies any liability or wrongdoing in regards to this settlement. We chose to settle because the amount is far less than the unnecessary costs and operational disruption that would have persisted for multiple years. 

They did have a slice of truth in the statement, it would have not only probably cost them a lot to fight this, if they would have lost, they could have lost all of their federal funding and reimbursements, and my guess, is that it is what this is all about. Sanford literally saved thousands of jobs and an institution by settling, but unfortunately, it should have never gotten this far.

And we wonder why healthcare costs are so high.

UPDATE: Dave Mathews in Sioux Falls for 3 nights, who knew?

Every year Sanford holds a big party for it’s employees, they usually bring in a well known performer.

UPDATE: Employees had to pay $10 a ticket with a limit of two. It was a fundraiser for Sanford’s Employee Emergency fund. Tickets were available to Sanford employees as well as First Premier, Unity Point and GSS.

This year apparently they brought in Dave Matthews and Grace Potter (which I was told was fantastic). While I am not really a fan anymore (because all his stuff sounds the same) when he first got popular about 20 years ago, I did like some of that early stuff.

But what is disappointing is that Sanford kept this all to themselves. What would have been the harm in selling tickets to a public concert? Could Matthews sell out the Denty? Probably not, but heck, I guarantee he could have sold out the Pavilion.

Once again we see the sword Sanford wields on us. I was at a family event yesterday and one of my second cousins from Yankton asked me, “When is Sioux Falls going to rename itself to Sanford Falls?” It may be sooner then we think.

Sioux Falls taxpayers shouldn’t be giving gifts based on the whims of one man

As I have talked about, I find it a little irritating that we are gifting the State Theatre $1.5 million based on the request of Denny Sanford.

Here are FOUR reasons we should say NO to this request;

SANFORD MADE MOST OF HIS FORTUNE BY PREYING ON PEOPLE WITH BAD CREDIT

And the Feds responded with major changes to the credit card laws;

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 prohibits upfront fees from totaling more than 25 percent of the card’s total available credit in the first year, and the rules that take effect in October provide greater detail on what that means. Specifically, the new rules expand the definition of “upfront fees” to include fees charged before the account is opened (for example, an application fee), not just those charged after it is opened.

Not only was Sanford involved, but our last mayor was the VP of Marketing for this subprime scheme.

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA SAID ‘NO’ TO A LARGE SANFORD DONATION

While Sanford has maintained it was the University’s fault this didn’t go through, the University says otherwise;

Then, in 2002, he reached out to his alma mater, the University of Minnesota. He offered $35 million for the construction of a new football stadium. Your idea of what happened next depends a lot on your loyalties. The University claimed Sanford wanted “too much control” over the project, and the two parties failed to reach an agreement. Sanford alleges the University got greedy, more than doubling the projected cost of the stadium, trying to coax a few extra millions out of Sanford’s pockets. He pulled out, feathers ruffled.

The other story was that Sanford wanted his name on the building to.

MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL PREVENTS SANFORD MERGER

Minnesota State Lawmakers got a little nervous about the merger;

Why did Sanford pull out of the talks? The prospect of the two $3 billion hospital systems merging alarmed some Minnesota leaders. The Minnesota Attorney General, Lori Swanson, called a press conference in late March to express concerns about Fairview assets remaining in Minnesota after a merger, and speculated about the future of the University of Minnesota’s teaching hospital, operated by Fairview, after a merger with an out-of-state entity. She convened a public hearing on short notice, on a Sunday in early April, and promised additional inquiry into the proposed merger. Two Minnesota state legislators introduced a bill to slow or stop the merger. Facing public suspicion and politicians intent on slowing, if not stopping, the merger, Sanford Health decided to cease merger discussions.

I met and spoke with AG Swanson shortly after this happened at a political event in Minneapolis. She basically told me that once their office started digging around on Sanford, the more concerned they got.

SANFORD HOSPITAL IS BEING INVESTIGATED FOR MEDICARE FRAUD

This of course is still going through the courts and investigation mode, but if found guilty there could be HUGE repercussions for the entire community;

Two doctors employed by Sanford Health are suing the company and one of its neurosurgeons, accusing them of defrauding the federal government and harming patients by performing unnecessary surgeries. Dustin Bechtold and Bryan Wellman filed the lawsuit in 2016, and a federal judge unsealed it Thursday. The complaint says Sanford Health has been buying medical devices from a company owned by Dr. Wilson Asfora, and that the surgeon uses those devices in unnecessary spine surgeries. The suit says this violates anti-kickback laws. The suit also says Sanford and Asfora billed Medicare and other programs for care that was never provided.

While Sanford has been very generous with his giving, there is certainly NO reason the Mayor or the City Council need to give money because he says so. We can say ‘NO’ to the whims of billionaires, other’s have. We just lack the courage.

Golf Tournament highlights the gap between rich and poor in Sioux Falls

While only about .05% percent of Sioux Falls residents give a rat’s ass about the Sanford International Golf Tournament, it hasn’t stopped our news media from covering it for days, including the mini-city built on the Minnehaha Country Club greens that took several weeks.

Instead talking about the massive tax increases we are facing with the new jail, new schools, new water treatment plant, lack of food tax relief in the legislature’s special session, and another property tax increase on Tuesday at the City Council meeting, our local media wants to focus on the important things; Golf.

While healthcare costs continue to sky rocket, food banks grow faster than crab grass, soup kitchens continue to expand, and treatment for addiction isn’t available in our community, one of top employers and healthcare providers decided that hosting a pro-golf tournament on an exclusive country club course was a good idea.

Will there be economic impact? Oh, probably. Will Sanford and the MCC make money from the event? Maybe.

But the golf tournament highlights something more than anything else, the gap between rich and poor in Sioux Falls.

The irony only gets thicker when you realize the tournament is being played on land that should be sold to the city for a better east-west route for commuters.

While our news media stands in line like they are at the Banquet for Sanford advertising dollars, the rest of our society is slipping through the cracks. But, hey, we are not a real news story unless we steal a pizza buffet gift card.

Sanford rumors untrue

Trust me I was well aware of the rumors swirling around about Kelby;

He was not, as a growing chorus of rumors claimed, asked to leave his job nor did he contemplate resigning, he said.

“If it wasn’t so sad or scurrilous, I’d laugh about it,” he said. “But people get worried about things like that. I think it’s unfortunate. I’ve got to believe my own people heard that and went ‘right’ or ‘good grief.’ ”

It seemed the more I heard, the more I just got to a point where, “This is so ridiculous, it can’t be true.” I guess what bothered me most was I didn’t have anyone who could verify the multiple accusations and rumors. NO ONE. What made it even worse was this was boiling up on Facebook, a place that can be full of so much bullsh*t it’s not even funny.

While at times I felt some of the things could be true, I got confirmation yesterday from a Sanford rep that NOT only was none of it true, they were baffled who started this. I have no idea, but it seems the main culprit may be a disgruntled former employee with an axe to grind. Believe it or not today’s announcement by Kelby may be in part because I encouraged this same Sanford rep to have Kelby make a statement to quell the wild fire. Which he did.

If there is one thing I learned from all this is that I’m glad I resisted beating the drum. While Facebook is a great place to connect with friends and family, remember, it’s probably not the best source for actual news.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Of course the lingering question still is out there, Who signed off on the bad events center siding? I was hoping Kelby would tell us. Darn it.

Has Sanford taken over our local media?

A screenshot of the Argus Leader main page at 10 AM, June 26, 2018.

I know, you are probably laughing at me right now. We have known for awhile that if Sanford isn’t doing it in Sioux Falls, it’s not worth reporting. But really, why would someone pay for an online subscription to the AL to just read about whatever news stories Sanford is feeding them (and probably paying them) for?

Ever since Stormland-TV’s only investigative reporter has been on personal leave, there seems to be NO controversial stories coming from them either. For instance, ‘Why did the trail derailment occur in Doon? Who’s at fault?’ Notice NO one in the local media has asked that question or been given an answer. Is journalism that difficult?

I know some make fun of siouxfalls.business for basically getting paid to write positive business stories about businesses, but #1, Jodi doesn’t hide the fact of what she does, and #2, how is she any different than our supposed unbiased local media? I don’t think the separation is that wide, except for the fact one is being honest about what they do.

Maybe our Health Care Mega-Plexes should partner with Paratransit instead?

While it’s nice that Sanford has money for liquor licenses, suite’s at the Denty, Sports Bars, Basketball arenas and now a tourist trolley, shouldn’t Sanford & Avera be looking at a private/public partnership with Paratransit?

“We’re always proud to support services in our communities,” said Paul Hanson, Sanford Health executive vice president. “We know how much visitors love the Sioux Falls trolley service and couldn’t be happier to support it.”

While that’s great, I just wish our health systems would focus on ‘health’. I think a partnership with the hospitals and paratransit could be inked. Besides, I think the Trolley should be paid for out of the CVB’s BID Tax, but I guess they refuse. Well at least Sanford is fulfilling one empty promise from the former mayor and the CVB;

The trolleys also will be available as a shuttle service between downtown and the Denny Sanford Premier Center for major events throughout the year.

Premier Center entertainment district here we come!

Council Candidate Soehl bows to the Sanford Altar

While watching the online interview today between Sioux Falls Central District Council Candidates DeBoer and Soehl, Argus Leader Metro Guru Joe Sneve asked them what they thought about developer impact fees and specifically Sanford tearing out affordable housing in the core of our city.

Sanford has mentioned in the past that they would like to expand the 18th and Grange campus all the way towards Minnesota avenue. In that process they have bought several properties in that swath, which includes some of the most affordable housing in our city.

Soehl answered the question first and pretty much towed the tired old line that Sanford has done so many things for our city including employment opportunities (South Dakota has some of the lowest healthcare salaries in the nation) that we should be careful about stopping such expansion.

DeBoer had a different twist on the topic. Besides pointing out that Avera has decided to expand in an area that doesn’t require tearing down affordable housing, he says the Sanford expansion has been detrimental to affordable housing in the core of our city. He reminded listeners that these are some of the most affordable housing options in the city that help first time homebuyer pull themselves out of poverty and rental living. He also pointed out all the blacktop Sanford is putting down in these neighborhoods in the form of parking lots. While he admitted to the economic impact of Sanford, he also said they could expand elsewhere in our city without tearing down these houses.

Zach is right. Instead of Sanford giving several acres to the school district, they could use that land for expansion.

But Zach brings up a bigger point, why does the city, and particular the council and city hall always bow to the altar of Sanford. The Planning Department, the Planning Commission and the City Council could easily say NO to Sanford when they want to tear up more affordable housing in the core of our city, or impose heavy impact fee penalties to dissuade them from doing so.

We need more councilors like Zach, who are looking out for the best interest of the citizenry and not the bottom line of Sanford.

Sioux Falls City Council votes to allow Sanford to ‘park’ a liquor license at their foundation house

So the dirty little secret comes out. Sanford Health has NO intention to use the liquor license at the foundation house, just to ‘park’ it there until they open another bar/restaurant at the sports complex.

So with so many people wanting a liquor license in town, to actually use, and generate tax revenue, the city council has allowed Sanford to actually SIT on a license, an organization that should be using all of their revenue to actually help the sick and dying instead buying up liquor licenses.

If you don’t think our city government hasn’t been bought and paid for by Sanford, you are one naive little turkey.

I was actually embarrassed that not one single councilor voted against it. I guess it is OK for a healthcare organization to horde liquor licenses but a family business owner can’t sell a Bud Light at a movie.

Shake my F’cking head.