Westbury Community Hospital serves persons with mental problems, 95% of whom are indigent. Many are homeless and have nowhere else to turn for help.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is withholding $430,000 for payments it claims are for “incarcerated” patients. Westbury has provided reams of documents and affidavits proving that Westbury does not treat incarcerated patients but CMS refuses to pay the hospital, has given officials conflicting advice on how to clear up the problem and will not release the funds while Westbury is appealing.
Westbury Community Hospital is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to mismanagement by its former management company, which is no longer involved with the hospital. Officials have brought the facility to the break-even point and had hoped to bring the hospital out of bankruptcy this fall. However, it has finally run out of money without the funds owed by CMS.
Without emergency relief, Westbury Community Hospital will close and:
· 60 to 70 people will lose their inpatient mental health care,
· Up to 200 persons will lose their outpatient mental health care,
· Up to 250 people will lose their jobs, including nurses, pharmacists, therapists, food service employees and other personnel, and
· The Westbury community will be left with empty buildings in an area that is being revitalized with improvements to Westbury High School and Willow Waterhole Parkway.
Westbury Community Hospital’s owner and employees are calling on the U.S. government to pay what it owes to this facility and allow it to continue to treat Houston’s poorest mentally-ill.
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