New Mexico hospital staff denounce CEO amid facility's financial troubles

Current and former Taos, N.M.-based Holy Cross Hospital staff and local residents expressed their disapproval for hospital administration and CEO Bill Patten during a Taos County Commission meeting July 10, according to The Taos News.

Retired nurse Linda Friedman, RN, told the commission "some devastating changes [began] … to take place in staffing" at the hospital in 2016, which she claims "resulted in the exodus of many long-term nurses," according to the report.

Ms. Friedman said at least one-third of nurses at the hospital have resigned during the last few years, leaving the positions to be filled by traveling nurses, who cost as much as three times more than the previous employees in those positions.

Holy Cross Hospital, which is owned by Taos County and managed by Taos Health Systems, began experiencing financial issues last October after the hospital's billing system caused a delay in payments, among other systemic problems. Mr. Patten reportedly said the system's many changes happening simultaneously led to financial issues and staff cuts, according to the report.

A longtime physician assistant at the hospital said during the meeting she believes the hospital's financial issues "have been caused in part by the administration and some very bad decisions made over the last few years," the report states.

"We are literally fighting for our jobs in the emergency department. Cuts are phenomenal," Martha Miller, a certified nurse practitioner at the hospital's ER for eight years, told the commission during the meeting.

To access the full report, click here.

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