Entries Tagged 'Sanford Hospital' ↓

Sanford Merger Meeting doesn’t go so well

If you watch this video and read the online comments you come to the conclusion that the welcoming wagon isn’t being rolled out for Sanford. Several if not most of the people who testified, testified against the merger including advocates of the University medical center, children’s heart medical care, nurse’s unions and mental health officials.

Ellison said his office is conducting its own investigation into the merger plan, along with taking public comment, and expects to make a decision sometime around the end of the month on whether to intervene.

“We’re going to test it for its compliance with antitrust laws, test it for its compliance with the charities laws. And then we’re just going to ask ourselves, is it good for Minnesota?” he said.

As the public meetings and comments on the merger continue it will be interesting to see how the AG rules on this.

Is Noem doing Sanford’s Bidding?

Yeah, sadly we have to go to Yahoo News to get the real bizzo on our Governor. As I have mentioned before, we would never get a story like this out of our local media;

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is encountering heightened scrutiny over decision to reject women’s sports legislation, with many questioning the influence of a longtime advisor – Matt McCaulley – who also has ties to the state’s top employer.

You may remember Mr. McCaulley, he was Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s attorney when he gleefully avoided punishment over his ethically challenged trip to Texas with Mayor Poops.

Since Noem’s veto, her conservative credentials have come under scrutiny, including from National Review. The conservative outlet published an article last week that raised legislators’ concerns with McCaulley and highlighted the $40 million that his client, Sanford Health, directed towards its sports complex on the same day that Noem announced her veto.

Kwinky Dink? I think not.

“It’s a well-known secret in South Dakota that Matt McCaulley has a seat at the Governor’s policy table while simultaneously representing the interests of Sanford Health as one of their key lobbyists,” a person with first-hand knowledge told Fox News.

“During the Women’s Sports debate, we clearly saw this conflict of interest when the Governor came out with a style-and-form veto on the same day that Sanford Health announced their $40M donation to expand a sports complex. McCaulley not only influenced Governor Noem’s decision to derail the women’s sports bill, but he also helped write the press release and worked on the messaging.”

Hey, Kristi, you could have waited at least a couple of days . . .

Some have suggested that Noem’s policy decisions were made under heavy influence of McCaulley.

And a lot of other people. It is pretty plain to see that Noem is influenced in every thing she does by outside influence. Whether that is McCaulley, Lewandowski, Trump . . . the loser list goes on and on.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson must be taking mask wearing advice from FORMER Sanford CEO

Yeah, you didn’t hear it here, but someone got the boot after writing strange Covid poetry to his employees, but we may never know;

Kelby Krabbenhoft and Sanford Health have agreed to part ways, Sanford announced in a news release at about 5:45 p.m. today.

This is no surprise, I have been hearing for months from Sanford employees that Kelby actually partially retired last Fall but was staying on basically for consulting for the transition to Intermountain Health. Not sure how much of that is true, but you will remember last Fall was when a lot of executives were leaving and an investigation into Denny Sanford was being done. No charges have been filed.

But as I was watching the Sioux Falls City Council Informational meeting tonight, I found it ironic that one of the city councilors who voted against a mask mandate and has admitted to having covid couldn’t even figure out how to wear a mask (you need to cover you mouth AND nose.)

Masks! We don’t need no stinking masks!

While she did pull it up a few times she kept pulling it down while talking. Scientists have said that masks actually do work, BUT you need to wear them properly and you have to have 100% compliance. Maybe Christine felt like Kelby that now that she has some kind of magical immunity she didn’t have to wear the mask?

Argus reporter Ellis said it best when talking about Sioux Falls City Government, “Amateur Hour.”

Sioux Falls needs to stop putting our philanthropic eggs in one basket

As we have heard since Friday, there are many more chapters to be written about the investigation into Denny Sanford. At this point, we really don’t know what will happen. But one thing is clear, and something I have been concerned about for a very long time, depending on one big donor in our community to sponsor almost everything has put us in quite the pickle. We need to spread it around more.

Let’s face it, even if this wasn’t currently going on, we have already sold our souls to one person. Drive around this town, how many things have Denny’s name written all over it? Even if Denny would have made his money curing Cancer, would it still make it right? I have often argued we need to spread the philanthropy around. Recently we saw that with the Triage Center and the Kirby Dog Park. To that, I say bravo.

Even if Denny gets out of this unscathed, we can’t go back. It will cost the hospital and the taxpayers of this community millions to erase his name from our town. It will have economic impacts, political impacts, reputation and business impacts, city budget repercussions and many more things if he is indicted. We must prepare NOW for things to come.

In this letter from CEO of Sanford Health, something stuck out to me;

Like you, I’m deeply concerned about these reports.

Yah think Kelby!? This tells me that those on the top probably know how deep this investigation goes. To put out a letter like this before any indictments should all make us step back and think a little bit.

I knew there was going to come a day of reckoning in our community because we put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to charitable giving. Hopefully we learn from this, because it will end up costing us a lot of dough.

And if the sign on the Denty needs to be removed, may I suggest a name I had from the beginning, The Citizen’s Center, why not name it after the folks who are paying the mortgage on this dented up tin can?

Military setting up drive thru testing facility

I guess the Military (National Guard?) has been setting up drive thru testing lanes in the parking lot at Washington HS. I wonder when the governor and mayor were going to tell us about this? Sanford has their testing setup at the Foundation House at the Sports Complex.

In an unrelated note I guess Sanford is also serious about building a 10,000 person capacity baseball stadium at the complex also. I noticed over the past couple of weeks they have finished a bunch of dirt work in the area and I believe seeded it with grass. I doubt they would start on it this summer.

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;


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.


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 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.


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.