Stephens Co. Hospital Still Dealing with Medicare Dispute

Stephens County Hospital is still at odds with Medicare over hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hospital Administrator Ed Gambrell said that Medicare is still withholding around $800,000 over a dispute that stems from Medicare paperwork filed by the hospital back in Fiscal Year 2009.

Gambrell said that Medicare and the hospital continue to discuss the matter in an effort to resolve it.

“We still feel to continue strongly that they are wrong and they actually did agree a few weeks ago to pay us again, so we have cash flowing in now, but unfortunately they withheld close to $800,000 that we feel they owe us,” said Gambrell.  “Our auditors agree with us that they owe us the money and we feel we will get it eventually.”

The withholding of that Medicare funding led the hospital authority to approve the establishment of a line of credit last month.

Gambrell said that the hospital has had to use that line of credit since it was set up.

“We opened up a $750,000 line of credit at Stephens Federal Bank,” said Gambrell.  “We have used $200,000 of it.  We have $500,000 left that we hope we do not have to use and we hope before too much longer we can pay back what we have used.”

Gambrell said it is the way the it is because Medicare is so important to the hospital’s bottom line.

“Half our patients our Medicare patients and when they stop paying us, it crimps our style sort of speak,” said Gambrell.

Gambrell said there is no timeline for when the hospital and Medicare might resolve the dispute.