Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 11-07-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 7-13, 2018 PAWTUCKET 9 identify the next steps." In an Oct. 23 letter to Grebien from James Fanale, president and CEO of Care New England, Fanale said hospital officials take these concerns very seriously as they contin- ue to provide care to residents of Pawtucket and Central Falls. The fee issue also raised in a separate Oct. 9 letter from Arboleda, in which Arboleda cited "numerous complaints" from constitu- ents of Sen. Sandra Cano, Representative- elect Karen Alzate, and Councilor Albert Vitali Jr., Fanale said the concern is related to the express care clinic. The walk-in area of the clinic is not classified as an urgent care clinic, he said, and the clinic opened after Memorial Hospital closed, meaning there was no billing related to this particular practice prior to that. Fanale said Memorial Hospital and CNE have for years billed professional and techni- cal fees. As part of a review, officials noted that the effectiveness and proficiency of billing and collections was not up to par, he said, and neither Memorial nor CNE were always billing and collecting for all services provided. Fanale directed further questions to Ernie Fusaro, vice president of revenue cycle. Fusaro told The Breeze Monday that the fees being discussed were fees Memorial had charged, but said they weren't being charged consistently between insurers. "That's why people are probably seeing it for the first time," he said. "We have to charge everyone identically. All we're try- ing to do here is be consistent and compli- ant with the rules. Because of that, people are probably seeing the fees they never saw before." These fees were always in place, he said, but were previously only charged to Medicare patients. Commercial insurers have now been billed for more than a year, he said. Fusaro said hospital officials understand the concerns of the public, but said this type of facilities fee, along with a physician's fee, is common. The fact that it wasn't being charged in all cases is part of the reason Memorial Hospital was in the shape it was in, he said. Fusaro said he isn't entirely sure what the total fee total is. Asked if the fee became nec- essary to maintain the hospital facility after CNE's request to board up the facility was rejected, Fusaro said every company or orga- nization is looking to try to cover costs, and this is "not necessarily to take care of costs for a boarded-up place." But yes, he said, "it helps to cover costs we will incur to keep it open." The Rhode Island Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review ruled in September that CNE had to continue heating the closed Memorial Hospital facility and to maintain security in the building. From preceding page Nesselbush calls for secret balloting to choose leadership Sen. Donna Nesselbush, of District 15, Pawtucket and North Providence, has teamed up with senator-elect Sam Bell in Providence to call for a "secret ballot" to elect General Assembly leaders and fix a "broken" system. The secret process is required by Rhode Island law, and is the practice of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. A roll call/voice vote is a problem because of the "antiquated yet robust system of rewards and punishments, alive and well in the Rogue Island General Assembly," said the two in a release. "The roll call/voice vote allows the winning leadership team to know the identities of those who voted for them and those who voted against them. And then come … the rewards and punish- ment." Instead of "praising all for voting her or his conscience, instead of calling for bygones to be bygones and for Democrats to unite behind the winning leadership team, instead, those who voted for the winning leadership team quickly become the winners and the insiders while the losers and the outsiders head to legislative Siberia," they added. Nesselbush told The Breeze this week she thinks there is real momentum for the pro- posal. She said she's losing sleep over the prospect that it might actually come to frui- tion.

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