Valerie Davidson, CEO of Alaska Native Medical Center, gave only a few more clues to tribal health leaders Friday than she gave to medical staff members and partners, after an unfavorable review by the federal government, which has given the medical center a bad report card.
Earlier, Davidson and the CEO of Southcentral Foundation had issued a letter to stakeholders saying that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid had revoked the “deemed status,” of the hospital after it didn’t meet government standards.
CMS can temporarily remove a health center’s “deemed status” after an inspection, if there are noncompliance or substantial other problems identified.
In a second letter that surfaced Friday, Davidson said that some of the problem has to do with the governance structure of ANTHC, Southcentral Foundation, and ANMC, which have a consortium relationship.
The issue surrounds the fact that ANMC does not have a governing body that is effective and legally responsible for the conduct of the accredited campus, and that the ANMC administrator does not have authority to manage the entire accredited campus, Davidson wrote. The letter was nearly as vague as the first letter.
Before ANMC was notified in writing about its status being revoked, it was told that the bad report was coming. It has until July 22 to submit a plan of correction to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. And then if deficiencies are not corrected by Oct. 10, the Medicare agreement that CMS has with the Native medical center will be terminated by the federal government.
“We know that nothing is more important than working together for the health and well-being of the patients, families, and communities we serve. For more than 25 years, the. Alaska Tribal Health System has operated on the key principles of respect, consensus, transparency, and unity. When we reflect our values and work together is when we’re at our best. Our people have known that since the beginning of time. We’re stronger and have better outcomes when we are working and moving the same direction, that’s who we are as Native people. When we’re together, it’s incredibly empowering and we all move forward. When we’re not, it has been devastating for all of us,” Davidson wrote to tribal leaders, giving few clues as to the real nature of the problem.