Hospitals sue Oregon about patient care
Fallout from Oregon's budget crisis has hospitals suing the state for unpaid bills.
That's the first sentence. Everything is to blame on the "crisis." No supporting facts for how this connection between the state violating a contract and the "crisis" (not meaning enough taxes) was made.
Five Oregon hospitals say the state broke agreements to reimburse them for the care they provided to patients ordered into psychiatric care by a court. The hospitals have sued in Marion County Circuit Court for breach of contract. They are demanding a total of about $1.85 million, court papers show.
The five related suits, including one filed by Salem Hospital, deal with so-called "waitlisted patients" who are temporarily placed in private hospitals until space opens at the Oregon State Hospital.
The hospitals allege that in late 2002, the Oregon Department of Human Services abruptly terminated contracts to pay for the care of waitlisted patients. All of the patients were on the Oregon Health Plan.
But the state will fulfill it's obligations right?
State officials said Oregon's Department of Human Services was forced by the Legislature to trim its programs.
"The fact is, DHS did not have a lot of options," said Kevin Neely, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Justice, which represents the state in the lawsuit. A clause in the contracts allowed the state to terminate them, Neely said, and the state is not obligated to make the disputed payments.
I guess that when you make the rules you get to break the rules.