The Herald Bulletin

November 4, 2013

State seeks removal of health center CEO

By Scott L. Miley The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — The Indiana State Department of Health has asked for the removal of the CEO of the Madison County Community Health Center over questions about the integrity of the facility’s operations.

The removal of Anthony J. Malone as president and CEO at the center is one of seven conditions sought by the health department in addressing a rash of problems that, most recently, saw the elimination of a $224,800 state grant for the center to administer vaccines.

The health center, with its main office at 1547 Ohio Ave., is to provide primary medical care, behavioral care and dental care for the under-served population. It has a satellite office in Elwood.

In an Oct. 15 letter to the center’s board officers, Preston Black, director of the Office of Legal Affairs for the state health department, said the state agency would not sign a grant agreement with the health center due to “recent events in which the integrity of the MCCHC operations and services has been called into question.”

Most recently, the center named a new chief medical officer, Dr. Mukund Patel, to replace Frank Campbell, who was investigated by the state for allowing assistants to use his permit and registration number to issue prescriptions. The center was raided in September and the attorney general filed a six-count complaint against Campbell.

One of the seven stipulations sought by the state included Campbell’s removal.

On Oct. 18, the state health department announced it would no longer provide publicly funded vaccines to the Madison County Community Health Center after terminating their Vaccines for Children program agreement earlier in October.

The termination came after a site visit by the State Health Department confirmed that MCCHC administered publicly funded vaccines to children with insurance, violating the state’s requirements for proper eligibility screening and vaccine administration.

In a release, the agency said it would not renew a $224,800 annual grant agreement due to the recent events. A new grant agreement could be possible if MCCHC implements a remediation plan for vaccine administration and works with a consultant on licensure, credentialing and practice oversight.

The state health department will not, Black also wrote in his letter, enter into a new grant agreement with the health center until Malone is removed. An interim or replacement CEO must be approved by the state department of health.

On Monday, Malone said the board of directors is working to address the items in the letter, and indicated the contents of the letter wouldn’t impact the federal grant money the center receives. According to Malone, the state grant that the letter references totals about $239,000.

He also said, “I have no plans to go anyplace.”

Rosetta Minnefield, who chairs the health center board, said the board is to discuss the health department’s letter.

According to federal tax returns for the year 2010 — the most recent available — for the not-for-profit health center, Malone earned a $223,606 in compensation including a base salary of $175,956 along with a $250 bonus compensation and an additional $47,000 in compensation from a grant from the Office of Family Assistance.

Minnefield was among four on the board who received the letter from Black. The other three were Robert Anders, vice president of the board; Lori Alexander, treasurer of the board, and Scott Underwood, who is secretary of the board and editor of The Herald Bulletin.

Among other stipulations sought by the department of health:

◆ The removal of Ariel Su-Perkins as director of internal operations.

◆ The health center can offer no pain management program medications although pain management services can still be offered.

◆ A remediation plan to participate in the Indiana Immunization Division’s Vaccine for Children Program along with payment for misused vaccine.

◆ A consultant whose oversight of the health center will include physician and allied health professional licensing. The consultant must make regular reports to the state department of health.

The Indiana State Department of Health sent a letter Oct. 15 expressing concern over the "integrity" of operations at the Madison County Community Health Center, 1547 Ohio Ave. It listed conditions being sought, including: -- Removal of Anthony J. Malone as CEO and president of the center, and that he will hold no other position at the center. - A replacement CEO or interim CEO must be approved by the ISDH. - No pain management program medications can be offered, although pain management services that do not include medication may continue. -- A consultant to make regular reports to the ISDH. Source: Indiana State Department of Health