Letter: KRMC and Kingman Crossing: Is it a good mix?

I attended the Kingman Crossing workshop January 31, to see what is happening with this project. My main reason was to see why KRMC would become involved in such a politically contentious and divisive issue in the community.

I would like to give you a little background to why this issue so upsets me. I needed to have a follow up visit with my medical provider following an ER visit. The medical provider I had left and they hadn’t replaced the position, but I called the office where I have been going and they got me in to see another provider in a timely manner. This provider, I subsequently learned, was going to be my primary provider. She was late for the appointment, came in with wet hair, and wearing Levi capris; not very professional and certainly nothing to inspire my confidence in this provider.

I didn’t make any phone calls to complain; I just knew I wouldn’t be returning to her. I was just going to wait until my yearly visit and see if they had hired a new provider.

What a surprise to call for an appointment with the new replacement only to be told I would be considered a new patient. This was my fourth provider at the same location and I would have to be a new patient. When I asked about seeing another provider that I hadn’t seen, I was told again I would be considered a new patient. I then asked if I went to any other KRMC-owned clinic would I also be considered a new patient. Same answer, I would. How many times do I have to be a new patient at the same clinic because they can’t keep providers? I was also told this wasn’t their policy, it was the providers.

Now let’s get back to KRMC. I let the visit with the provider go. Then came the purchase of the property by KRMC to the tune of $5.3 million (I have since learned this was a cash purchase) splashed across the front page of the Miner a week or less before the vote on the Kingman Crossing issue authorizing the city to sell the land. That didn’t look very coincidental to me, but I let it go.

In January, KRMC’s name comes up again in regard to Kingman Crossing and their involvement in this controversial issue. Now I’m mad and I can’t let this go. I finally went and spoke to a KRMC board member and shared my feelings about them getting involved with Kingman Crossing and their inability of providing adequate medical professionals to cover this community. They are bringing in traveling doctors and nurses, contract work for other professional services, and hiring nurses from the Philippines when we have an R.N. program in our own back yard.

I also pointed out that they needed a light at Beverly Avenue, but I don’t see them pursuing that when it is vital to the safety of all that have to make a left-hand turn from Stockton Hill Road on to Beverly. and that doesn’t even take into account trying to turn right only.

Maybe they could take the light at Santa Rosa Drive and put it at Beverly Avenue. It is way too late for a roundabout; we need help at this intersection now. They need to build a parking garage so their employees don’t have to park on the street or in the north forty of the property, not to mention the people who use their facilities could find parking closer to the entrances.

Now getting back to the Kingman Crossing workshop. I lost it when I heard on the radio that KRMC would be one of the speakers. That’s when I got on the phone and started calling as many of the board members that I could find phone numbers for. There are 13 board members making decisions for all the medical needs of this community. So, this is the breakdown of my contact with the board: 1 – visited, 2 – called, 4 – left message, 2 – couldn’t find phone numbers for, 1 – voice mail wasn’t working but he had caller ID but didn’t call back, 3 – who I didn’t even try to contact because 2 are contract employees of the hospital who work for the same company and 1 who is a paid employee of the hospital. I received only one call back and that was from Brian Turney, CEO at KRMC.

We are finally at the Kingman Crossing workshop – what an enlightening event. Five presentations were listed on the agenda: overview of Kingman Crossing by City staff; presentation by a municipal bonding company, which I don’t know if they are already contracted by the city or just there to explain their services; a presentation from a private development and realty company who own just short of 1000 acres of land adjacent to Rattlesnake Wash interchange as we know it, but now is referred to as Rancho Santa Fe interchange; the presentation by KRMC; and then a presentation by an adjacent property owner and developer next to Kingman Crossing. The property owner didn’t make a presentation and nothing was said why that didn’t happen.

Mr. Turney’s presentation was very informative with facts about the economic benefits for both the city and the hospital, the number of employees they employed for the last 10 years as around 800, the amount of money on the dollar that they receive from Medicare patients, Medicaid patients and uninsured patients, in comparison to the amount of money earned from insured patients. He spoke of the loss that they take providing services at the hospice home and I’m not going to repeat that number even though another attendee confirmed hearing the same number. His point was that they provide services that benefit the community even if it isn’t a profitable service. He said they have hired someone to help with exploring development plans. He also mentioned the addition to the emergency room. This sounds good on paper, but let me explain why I don’t believe the purchase of the land adjacent to Kingman Crossing or their other facility was beneficial to this community as a whole.

Kingman Hospital Inc. is not a development company. They are the caretakers for the most valuable asset this community has – the hospital. They are becoming involved in the political agenda of Kingman Crossing and all that that entails. Having their name linked with one of the most contentious and divisive issues in Kingman and becoming a cornerstone for the development of Kingman Crossing does a grave disservice to all members of this community and the surrounding area. Every decision they make, every excuse they use why they can’t get enough providers (they can get providers--they just can’t keep them and that is an internal issue that they need to get resolved): These are important issues that need to be addressed now. When they decided to buy up as many private practices as they could, they left this community lacking for basic medical care.

Their only concern and only priority should be to provide this community the best possible medical care and, in my opinion, they crossed that line with their involvement in Kingman Crossing.

When I think of the money they are losing on the hospice home, the purchase and maintenance of a hospital they didn’t need and the expense of trying to utilize it, and now the cost of $5.3 million for vacant land, plus anything else we don’t know about, I can’t help but wonder how many doctors or partnerships we could have with medical students to pay their medical tuition in return that they agree to repay in service to our community. How about nurses who would be willing to partner with the hospital to provide much needed coverage in their clinics to pay their medical tuition to become a nurse practitioner? Just a thought.

There are ways to bring in and retain medical professionals in all areas of health care, but that isn’t going to happen as they are now more concerned with being land developers and movers and shakers in this community. Their only concern should be providing the health coverage that this community needs and deserves.