Mark David Richards
Council Period 12
Council Period 13
Council Period 14
Government and People
Anacostia Waterfront Corporation
Boards and Com
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Management Officer
Elections and Ethics
Housing and Community Dev.
Capital Revitalization Corp.
Planning and Econ. Dev.
Planning, Office of
Public Service Commission
Regional Mobility Panel
Sports and Entertainment Com.
University of DC
Water and Sewer Administration
Youth Rehabilitation Services
Issues in DC Politics
DC General, PBC
Public Benefit Corporation
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Term limits repeal
Voting rights, statehood
Williams’s Fundraising Scandals
Cardozo Shaw Neigh.Assoc.
Committee of 100
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League of Women Voters
What Is DCWatch?
DC Health Care Coalition
Contacts: Devin Walker, 202/285-1921 Crystal Sylvia,
SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR MAYOR WILLIAMS
Q: Greater Southeast Hospital is responsible for managing indigent health
care since DC General closed. It appears that Greater Southeast is trying
to make it appear that its current financial problems are primarily
related to National Century Financial Enterprises, which is its lender.
However, the financial woes of Greater Southeast started more than four
years ago when it filed bankruptcy. In addition, Greater Southeast has a
history of poor payments to its vendors, and last year it received a $20
million tax break from paying DC taxes even though it would still lose $6
million per year after this generous tax break. Clearly, Greater
Southeast was financially insolvent before its current problems with
National Century. The problem with National Century has only added to
Greater Southeast's history of financial instability. Can you defend the
City continuing to entrust a nearly $500 million contract to such an
STATUS OF THE HEALTH CARE SAFETY NET (as of 11/20/02)
(Greater Southeast Hospital, DC General, & the Alliance)
Q: The financial stability of Greater Southeast Hospital, which manages
the health care safety net since DC General closed, is connected to its
ability to deliver effective patient care. Physicians have reported that
patient care is being compromised when vendors won't deliver needed
medical supplies because Greater Southeast has not paid its bills. Is
it accurate to claim that health care has improved under the management of
Greater Southeast Hospital which is - once more - in dire financial
condition and this in turn affects its ability to deliver good patient
Q: The Inspector General recently issued a report on the effectiveness
of the health care safety net, which is managed by Greater Southeast
Hospital. The report noted problems with the staffing and administration
of the new system that may be costing the city tens of millions of
dollars. Will Greater Southeast be held responsible for returning
those overpayments to the City that are noted in the Inspector General's
report, and how can you assure that this waste of taxpayer dollars will
not continue to occur?
Q: All hospitals are rated on their quality of care by the Joint
Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Georgetown
University Hospital recently received a 91 quality of care rating, and DC
General Hospital had received a 94 quality of care rating before it was
closed. Can you continue to state that the new health care system is
better than DC General in light of the fact that the new system is managed
by Greater Southeast Hospital, and yet Greater Southeast has not been able
to pass the fundamental quality of care review?
Q: Greater Southeast, which manages the health care safety net since DC
General Hospital closed, recently announced that it has closed the clinics
for pediatrics and women's services. In addition, prescription services
for indigent senior citizens have been discontinued, which results in
potentially lifesaving drugs being denied to seniors. Does your
continued defense of this new health care system feed into perceptions
that you don't care about the City's most vulnerable residents - in this
case women, children, and senior citizens?
Q: How do you explain that the closure rate for emergency rooms
at private hospitals has increased significantly since DC General closed?
It has been reported by employees that Greater Southeast Hospital is
planning to charge indigent patients $200 for healthcare. However,
according to the City's contract with Greater Southeast, it is responsible
for providing free health care for up to sixty days to all who require
care until it is determined whether persons are eligible for free care.
For Greater Southeast to charge an up front fee of $200 would violate its
contract with the City. Are you aware of reports that Greater
Southeast intends to violate its contract with the City by breaching the
fundamental principle upon which the health care safety net is
founded-free care to those who qualify?
Q: The City Council recently voted on legislation to build another
hospital at the DC General site. This action was taken, in part, as a
result of an independent report that recommended the need for a hospital
at the DC General site. Mr. Mayor, you wrote a letter to the City Council
supporting a new private hospital at the DC General site. Would it
have been better to improve any problems at the now closed DC General
Hospital, rather than to close it and then support building another
hospital at the same location only one year later?
Q: Firefighters have complained about the liability of taking
high-risk patients to the DC General Emergency Room, which is now
being managed by Greater Southeast Hospital. Since DC General is no longer
a hospital, it does not have the resources to handle high-risk patients.
Some firefighters have expressed the view that this situation is just an
accident waiting to happen with the lives of DC residents. What are
you prepared to do to address this concern?
Q: In advocating for the closure of DC General Hospital, you went
against the established medical community including the American Medical
Association, the Medical Society of DC, and the National Medical
Association. Given significant problems with the new health care system-
including the negative report by the Inspector General, and Greater
Southeast Hospital not yet able to pass the fundamental quality of care
review (by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare
Organizations) -- do you believe you should have heeded the advice
of the medical community (and the unanimous City Council) for DC General
Hospital to remain open?
Q: In order to legitimately claim that no one has died since DC General
closed would require the examination of documents such as patient medical
records. What specific evidence do you provide to support your
statement that no one has died since DC General closed, and what specific
evidence do you provide to support your claim that the new health care
system is providing better care than when DC General Hospital was open?
Q: DC General Hospital was accused of "bleeding" money as one
of the reasons for its closure. However, DC General was allotted only $45
million per year that had to be used for both patient care and repairs to
an old building. In addition, DC General had to provide care to everyone
regardless of ability to pay, yet Greater Southeast has the decreased
responsibility of providing free care to those who fall within 200% of the
federal poverty level - this is only a fraction of those who were seen at
DC General. And, Greater Southeast subcontracts services to seven other
healthcare providers, who are asking the City for more money. The
costs of the new health care system are spiraling although it provides
services to fewer people than DC General Hospital did. Would it have been
better to increase the budget to DC General rather than the current
arrangement of paying eight health care facilities to provide services to
fewer people than when DC General was open?
The DC Health Care Coalition includes community members, patients, and