- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2005

When Greater Southeast Community Hospital was facing the loss of its accreditation in 2003, administrators turned to a Delaware company with a national reputation for getting troubled hospitals back on track.

The hospital stayed open, but now the company, Critical Management Solutions Inc., says it is not getting paid.

The company says it is owed more than $100,000 for helping stave off the closure of the District’s only full-service hospital east of the Anacostia River.

The fallout between the hospital and the consultants who helped keep it open comes at a time when some workers have expressed renewed concern over Greater Southeast’s financial health.

Greater Southeast’s parent company, Arizona-based Doctors Community Healthcare Corp., emerged from bankruptcy protection last year. The hospital recently announced layoffs of 200 workers in what administrators called a restructuring move.

However, Doctors Community Chief Executive Officer Thomas M. Reardon said Wednesday that the hospital isn’t having any problems paying its bills. He said Greater Southeast “financially has turned a corner” this summer.

“Finally, after so many months, the hospital is going to be making some money,” he said.

Mr. Reardon said officials saw the layoffs as a difficult but necessary move. He said that although other hospitals’ salaries and wages consume about 40 percent of overall revenue, Greater Southeast’s ran at about 60 percent.

“The staffing levels were way too high,” Mr. Reardon said.

“A hospital turnaround takes between 12 to 18 months, and what you do first is stanch the bleeding,” he said. “Once you do that, you look at what you can do in the way of reinvestments. That’s where we are now. We’re pretty excited about it.”

Mr. Reardon said he wasn’t aware of a lawsuit Critical Management Solutions filed last month seeking more than $100,000 from Doctors Community.

The consulting company’s duties included performing mock surveys of Greater Southeast to prepare employees for official inspections by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

In 2003, health inspectors cited Greater Southeast for staffing shortages and patient care lapses.

Since then, the hospital has regained its full accreditation, hired new management and recruited full-time nurses to replace contract employees. It also recently won an award for its care of stroke and heart-attack victims.

Glenn Krasker, president and chief executive officer of Critical Management Solutions, said he is proud of the role his company played in the hospital’s comeback.

“We were central in them being able to get their accreditation back,” Mr. Krasker said.

But Mr. Krasker said hospital officials haven’t told him why his company hasn’t gotten paid.

“There’s been no indication that there was any kind of contract dispute,” he said.

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