Nonprofit's history of bad debt, poor collections threatens new Md. health system

State officials have made funding for a new hospital and healthcare system in Prince George's County, Md., contingent upon Dimensions Healthcare Systems withdrawing from the hospital proposal altogether, reports The Washington Post.

Since 2013, state officials have been considering a proposal for a new teaching hospital in Cheverly, Md., that would be operated by University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and Dimensions Healthcare Systems in Cheverly.

Now, lawmakers are looking for assurances that Dimensions, which has operated hospitals in the county for the past 30 years, will not play a role in managing the new medical center due to its poor financial track record.

Dimensions Healthcare Systems is a nonprofit entity created by Prince GeorgeCounty in 1982 to manage operations at Prince GeorgeHospitalCenter in Cheverly, Greater Laurel (Md.) RegionalHospital, GladysNoonSpellmanNursingCenter in Hyattsville, Md., and Bowie (Md.) HealthCenter.

Since its creation, however, the health system has been plagued by consistent financial, operational and legal challenges. Significant financial losses at Dimension's two largest hospitals, Price George's and Laurel Regional, nearly forced the system into bankruptcy in 2007. In 2012, the system's then-CEO Kenneth Glover resigned after an internal probe implicated him in an extortion and corruption scandal.

State lawmakers said Dimensions' history of financial mismanagement was particularly problematic in granting the hospital project regulatory approval. Senate President Thomas Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) told The Washington Post, "[Dimensions] has a bad track record. It's just a history of bad debt, a history of mismanagement and of not collecting bills."

State officials asked UMMS in May to submit a revised proposal for the hospital project. UMMS officials told The Washington Post they are still working on revisions.

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.