Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Johnson Releases $4 Million to Hospital

Rosalind Helderman

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson may have bought himself a bit more time to keep negotiating a plan for the future of the county's hospital system today by releasing $4 million in county funds to Dimensions Health, the company that manages Prince George's Hospital Center.

It's Johnson's third payment to the system since November, meaning he has now given Dimensions $10 million of the $14 million he pledged after promising to keep the financially ailing system running with public funds through June 2008.

He continued to remain mum today about the details of a plan he and the County Council have been negotiating with St. Louis-based hospital chain Ascension Health to take over the county-owned hospital system from Dimensions in July.

Johnson briefed the Prince George's House delegation on the details of the negotiations with the Catholic chain Friday. Speaking anonymously, delegates said then that the state would likely balk at the deal's price tag--$495 million in public funding over five years, with $297 million coming from the state and $198 million coming from the county. Plus, lawmakers had concerns about whether the Catholic chain would offer family planning services, including abortions.

Speaking before and after an unrelated press conference in Annapolis today, Johnson refused to provide any details of the deal he and the council have been negotiating. "We are still in negotiations," he said. "When all of us come to a conclusion, the press will be the first ones to know."

He insisted the plan cannot be negotiated publicly but also said it meets a criteria set forward by state officials last year that any agreement using state money come as a result of an "open and transparent process."

"The process is absolutely open," he said. "The agreement is to sit down and have an open process and then at some point lay it out to the state. But we can't negotiate in public."

He also took on unnamed critics of the Ascension plan, insisting the deal is not yet final. "No one has seen the plan," he said. "I don't know how anyone can have a reaction to a plan they haven't seen."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  February 26, 2008; 4:17 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Praisner's widower considers running in MoCo's District 4
Next: Ban on Special Session Fundraising

Comments

It is time for the General Assembly to step-up and put an end to this Jack-o-farce.

For three legislative sessions, Jack has been like the Wizard of Oz, distracting the legislature for 90 days at a time. Before you know it, this session will come to an end and the senators and delegates will be left scratching their heads in disbelief again.

JUST DO IT!

Posted by: PG'er | February 26, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The release of funding just distracts from the fact that this is another empty plan from the county. They want to hold onto control of the land but have no clue as to how to run the hospital -- except into the ground.

Posted by: Hospital supporter | February 26, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Why can't a hospital in one of the wealthiest predominately-African American counties in the country make money?

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | February 26, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse


The problem is with the hospital itself and the large number of non-paying patients. This relates to the economic status of many inner-beltway residents, and is a problem faced by many urban hospitals nationwide. Why blame the politicians, who have limited control over the situation? Perhaps there is need to lure Prince Georgians who have the means, to go to PG County Hospital when ill. (Like the public schools in the county, people will go elsewhere if they have the means.) Perhaps the politicians can help by providing image building and incentive programs for Prince Georgians to use the hospital, instead of driving to Annapolis or Washington, D.C. for hospital care.

Finally, if you don't live in this county, keep your nose out of our business.


Posted by: CR | February 27, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse


The problem is with the hospital itself and the large number of non-paying patients. This relates to the economic status of many inner-beltway residents, and is a problem faced by many urban hospitals nationwide. Why blame the politicians, who have limited control over the situation? Perhaps there is need to lure Prince Georgians who have the means, to go to PG County Hospital when ill. (Like the public schools in the county, people will go elsewhere if they have the means.) Perhaps the politicians can help by providing image building and incentive programs for Prince Georgians to use the hospital, instead of driving to Annapolis or Washington, D.C. for hospital care.

Finally, if you don't live in this county, keep your nose out of our business.


Posted by: CR | February 27, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

"Finally, if you don't live in this county, keep your nose out of our business." It seems CR is an ostrich. Sorry friend. Are you not asking for money for this hospital from the state and even the federal government? I have shaken hands with voters in every corner of PG. And have represented upwards of 10,000 P.G. residents in Court in the past.

It is indisputable that Prince Georges is one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest, predominately African-American--and my parents were born in Africa--counties in the United States. Why can't this hospital make money? As they say, if you can't make it in P.G., you can't make it anywhere. P.G. is nothing like a welfare county. P.G. stands for proud and good even though the Washington Post ran a front page story on 2/26/08 disparaging P.G. schools compared to Montgomery's in order to justify tax increases in Montgomery. What efforts are made to see that these so-called "non-paying," people pay their fair or fare share?

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | February 27, 2008 3:59 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company