The Herald Bulletin

December 23, 2013

Health Center appeals state decision

Grant funding being withheld

By Ken de la Bastide and Scott Miley The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON – The Madison County Community Health Center is appealing a decision by the Indiana State Department of Health concerning its ability to receive future grants.

On Dec. 13 the Department of Health notified the Community Health Center that it was forgoing a $226,625 grant each year from the Community Health Center Grant Program and suspending the center from other grants until seven specific operating conditions are met.

The Community Health Center’s board of directors has decided to decline meeting any of the conditions imposed by the state board.

“It is regrettable that the ISDH would take such a hard and detrimental position on critical services being provided to the citizenry of Madison County by the Madison County Community Health Centers without a complete and unbiased evaluation,” Anthony Malone, CEO of MCCHC, said in a statement.

Malone wrote that MCHCC is appealing the decision with ISDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of the level of misinformation associated with the decision and its impact.

He said the $226,625 grant conditions have not been violated nor has there been any ISDH review to determine the existence of any defect or violations.

The Health Center maintains ISDH owes them funds from the start of the grant period starting on July 1 through Oct. 15.

“The statement of eligibility for any future grants cannot be commented upon due to the origin of state funds and their designations,” Malone said.

The ISDH grant of $226,625 is approximately 3 percent of the Community Health Centers’ total budget.

Those seven conditions were:

◆ Dr. Frank Campbell is removed as chief medical officer and holds no future positions at MCCHC.

◆ Anthony Malone is removed from his current position as president and chief executive officer and holds no other positions at MCCHC.

◆ Ariel Sue-Perkins is removed from her current position as director of internal operations and holds no future positions with MCCHC.

◆ A replacement CEO or interim CEO be approved by ISDH.

◆ No pain management program medications will be offered; however, pain management services that do not include medication may continue.

◆ A remediation plan per the guidelines for participation in the Indiana Immunization Division’s Vaccine for Children Program has been approved and payment for misused vaccine has been verified by ISDH.

◆ A consultant whose oversight of MCCHC will include physician and allied health professional licensure, credentialing and practice oversight will be approved by the ISDH and hired by the MCCHC. The consultant will make regular reports to the ISDH.

Malone said the board of directors has taken the ISDH directive very seriously and ensured that they are compliant with federal requirements and fully recognize they have to abide by state and federal statutes.

“I respect their right to make an informed decision,” Malone said.

He said the board has undertaken a number of initiatives to rebuild confidence including an early federal review, strategic scenario training conducted by Anderson University faculty, employment of a media consultant and employment of legal counsel.

Contact Ken de la Bastide at ken.delabastide@heraldbulletin.com, or call 640-4863.