Facts and Myths Revisited
Facts: On August 14th, FCBHA staff stated that there was no documentation to prove claims it made in its power
point presentation concerning Highlands Hospital being at capacity when hospital staff in attendance disagreed
that it was a big issue. FCBHA that evening at the public meeting said that it received the information from Value
Fact: On August 15th, email was sent to FCBHA asking for clarification on the numbers of patients turned away
from Highlands Hospital because the hospital was full. No reply was ever given. That information was later sent
to be obtained via a RTK request.
Fact: On August 22nd, a RTK response came from FCBHA through the county chief clerk: "For the issue of
"FCBHA/HealthChoices total number of Fayette County Residents who were medically cleared at
Highlands ER and transferred out of county for inpatient psychiatric care because Highlands was full
and could not admit them," I cannot provide the information because according to FCBHA, there is no
means to report or provide the information. Because FCBHA cannot provide the records, I am denying
Fact: Included in that RTK response, however, was a list of 236 out of county/some of of network
hospitalizations that actually totaled 359. Searching for a list of hospitalizations at Clarion Hospital -- as that was
the claim in the 8-14-12 power point presentation that Highlands being full resulted in hospitalizations at Clarion --
we found none. Reviewing FCBHA's 359 admission list and the list of Value Behavioral Health in network
hospitals with a representative at Value, this editor was told that Clarion Psychiatric Center is an insurance
in-network hospital and probably the same facility known as "Clarion Hospital" named in internet searches. We
both concluded that the list of 359 hospitalizations that FCBHA provided under the RTK was correct and no
inpatient stays at Clarion Psychiatric Center or Clarion Hospital were noted on it in the one-year period prior to
Fact: On August 22nd, Highlands Hospital provided stats that FCBHA said on a couple occasions that they could
not provide. As previously reported in "Information, Misinformation and Myth," the local hospital's stats were a
total of 41 transfers from 1/10 through 6/12 to other hospitals from Highlands ER because the hospital psych
units were full:
"In 2010, Highlands' inpatient psychiatric units had 960 admissions and transferred 10 patients
elsewhere because the hospital was full. In 2011, the hospital psychiatric units admitted 810 patients and
transferred 31 elsewhere because there were no beds. Through January and July of 2012, the hospital
has had only 310 admissions and transfered no patients because there were no beds available."
Today we note that Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink received clarification from FCBHA about reports here that
Clarion Hospital had received no county Medicaid patients in the RTK response sent to us on August 22: " The
RTK does indeed show admissions to Clarion Hospital (d/b/a/ UHS of PA)"
UHS of PA, yes, on FCBHA's list of 359 out of county and/or out of network hospitalizations, appears 19 times
in the 12 month period before 3/12.
However, UHS of PA is a large health care orginization based in King of Prussia and the State College area of PA.
We stand behind our confirmation from the Medicaid insurance carrier that it knew of no hospitalizations "in
Clarion" during that one-year period. There is no mention of a Clarion Hospital or Clarion Psychiatric Center in
UHS of PA online information, as well.
To date, FCBHA still has not been able to produce documentation of exactly how many hospitalizations in
Clarion, PA (100 miles north of Pittsburgh) resulted because Highlands was full. We'll assume for the sake of
argument, that all of these 19 hospitalizations resulted on some of the 31 times in 2011 when Highlands was full
with the 810 behavioral health inpatient patients it treated.
And we'll also assume again, as previously stated, that patients were sent that far away to Clarion when
Highlands was full because all neighboring county in-network hospitals in Westmoreland, Greene and
Washington Counties were also full.
Wouldn't it have been so much easier if FCBHA had just provided that information or number when originally
asked on Aug 14th and asked the first of two times under RTK? And wouldn't it have been only fair to Highlands
Hospital if FCBHA staff had actual stats in hand or committed to memory before speaking at a public meeting?
For this editor's fault for not being psychic and not knowing that "Clarion" meant "UHS of PA" and that the
insurance carrier also was unaware that it was code for "Clarion," we apologize for the confusion. This editor
thanks FCBHA deputy administrator Carol Over and Commissioner Zimmerlink for their assistance in this matter.
But Highlands' stats previously given -- from 1/10 through 6/12, with 2,080 admissions, Highlands was full and
needed to turn away only 41 patients -- remain unchallenged.
7 Sept 12
Editor's Note: In respect to the RTK received this week from the FCBHA director that care managers do not visit
hospitals, today clarification was sent via the deputy administrator that the staff we mentioned previously visit
hospitals only when patients need to be transferred to state hospitals. This editor stands corrected. Other
staff/non care managers visit hospitals less often than we previously reported.
As for HIPPA violations in FCBHA RTK released information (list of Uniontown Hospital admissions from 3/11
through 3/12) brought to the attention of county commissioners, we have had no further response.