Save Day Kimball Healthcare
Keep the Community's Resources under Community Control
A coalition of community members who reject the proposed acquisition of
Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) by Covenant Health
DKH has been seeking a “white knight” capable of providing assistance that will eliminate the financial uncertainties that our local health system shares with most other health care institutions, including the very largest. Covenant Health, an out-of-state Catholic health system, has stepped into the breach, offering to “partner” with DKH to provide the resources DKH needs to “preserve and enhance services, protect jobs and invest in new technology.” An “Affiliation Agreement” has been signed with Covenant and an application filed with the State for issuance of a Certificate of Need (CON). If the CON is issued, DKH Corporators will be called on to vote the transaction up or down. The parties’ CON application and a dedicated DKH website purport to provide ample justifications for this transaction. Do they represent reality, or are they perhaps largely corporate “spin”?
ASSERTION – It’s a Partnership. The transaction described in the so-called Affiliation Agreement with Covenant (let’s call it the “Takeover”) is consistently portrayed to our community as an entirely benign “partnership” whereby Covenant selflessly provides resources enabling DKH to continue redefining itself and exemplifying excellence in healthcare delivery.
FACT – It’s an Acquisition. While we share this high estimation of DKH’s performance to date, it is disingenuous to portray the Takeover as anything other than what has been unambiguously admitted to the State – complete transfer to Covenant of the ownership and control of DKH. That hardly qualifies as a mere partnership.
ASSERTION – Local Representation Will Be Continued. We are assured that, as has long been the case, DKH will continue to be “guided” by a Board comprised of community leaders that are representative of our service area.
FACT – No Meaningful Local Control. Currently, DKH board members are elected by the corporators who volunteer to represent and protect the interests of the local community, and the board, in turn, hires the CEO. After the Takeover, all DKH board members will be hand-picked and removable solely by Covenant, as will DKH’s CEO. Covenant will be able to override any DKH board of directors’ decision. If Covenant’s fiduciary obligations to its many other health services providers call for action unfavorable to DKH’s service community, Covenant cannot be expected to forego taking such action just because DKH objects. Covenant’s control is so total that it is empowered to sell DKH to a third party (perhaps even to a for-profit business) if the transaction is approved by the Covenant-controlled DKH board of directors.
ASSERTION – Services Will Be Preserved and Enhanced. Supporters of the Takeover Deal pledge that DKH will maintain the full line of health care services currently provided to DKH’s patients.
ASSERTION – Religious banning of healthcare services is not Important because those services generally have not been provided by the hospital in the past
FACT – Delivery of Services in Physicians’ Offices Would Be Significantly Curtailed. Health services that will be banned after the Takeover are being provided in abundance in the offices of the hospital’s affiliated physicians, including vasectomies (83% performed in physicians’ offices) and contraception medication and intervention, through Ob/Gyn, internal medicine or family practice physicians. Most women of reproductive age (65%) use contraception and 46% of all women 18 and older have an annual visit with an Ob/Gyn. After the Takeover, this will all be lost business. Further, emergency treatment of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and sexual assault now generally provided in the hospital Emergency Room will be restricted or banned causing risk to the health and life of women.
ASSERTION – Religious banning of healthcare services Is not important because those services will be available from non-DKH providers.
ASSERTION – Jobs Will Be Protected.
ASSERTION – Covenant Will Provide for Investment in New Technology.
ASSERTION – Covenant Will Save DKH From Federal Regulatory Disaster by Providing the EPIC Electronic Health Records System (EHR).
ASSERTION – Covenant Will Help Resolve DKH’s Pension Plan Deficit.
ASSERTION – DKH Needs the Takeover Deal to Stay Afloat. Supporters of the Takeover Deal are suggesting that the choice is binary: accept the Takeover Deal now or go under in the near future.