ABC-7 I-Team questions financial status of El Paso's Children's Hospital

Is the Children's Hospital able to meet its past and future obligations to UMC?

El Paso Childrens Finances

EL PASO, Texas - The ABC-7 I-team is questioning the financial status of El Paso's Children's Hospital. Legal advice and consultation with the Children's Hospital was an item on the agenda at a University Medical Center board meeting Wednesday night.

Board members declined to comment, but ABC-7 received a copy of the motion made. It said: "The UMC board recommends that the Children's Hospital convene an {sic} special committee composed of members of UMC, El Paso Children's Hospital, and El Paso First and that that committee consider the strategic options to ensure the continued viability and sustainability of the Children's Hospital and also to ensure that it is able to meet its past and future obligations to UMC."

The Children's Hospital's obligation to UMC include paying $860, 509 per month to use the top five floors of the UMC tower. The hospital has paid UMC for it's development services, or the money UMC provided to get the Children's Hospital on its feet. The Children's Hospital also has a contract with UMC that includes administrative services, such as IT, human resources, nursing and medical support staff.

An independent auditor reported last fall the total allowance for un-collectable accounts, or the money UMC thinks may not be collected by the Children's Hospital, was $21.5 million. The projection is based on money brought in by the Children's Hospital, current economic conditions and cash flow.

Children's Hospital CEO Larry Duncan told ABC-7 on Feb. 11, it was operating in the red but was not facing bankruptcy. ABC-7 also learned CFO David Mier resigned. When asked if it had anything to do with the mismanagement of funds, Duncan said no, Meir resigned for personal reasons.

ABC-7 reached out to county commissioners and Children's Hospital board members, but did not receive comment on the viability or sustainability of the Children's Hospital or the reason UMC is creating a special committee.

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