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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

PG Hospital tells DC to pay up

Times, October 26, 2005
Health care company tells D.C. to pay up
By Jim McElhatton
October 26, 2005
The D.C. government owes the company that runs Prince George's Hospital Center more than $6 million for treating poor city residents who sought care in Maryland after the District shut down its only public hospital, the company's top executive said yesterday.

G.T. Dunlop Ecker, chief executive officer of Dimensions Healthcare System, told the nonprofit company's board of directors he is seeking aid from "federal elected officials ... to help the D.C. government meet their moral and ethical obligations" in paying for the treatment.

Dimensions runs Prince George's Hospital Center, Laurel Regional Hospital, the Bowie Health Campus and several nursing homes. It is facing increasing financial pressures, including a proposal for freezing its employees' pension plan.

Mr. Ecker said Dimensions recently sent the D.C. government a "strongly worded letter" after city officials failed to respond to the company's request last year seeking about $5.2 million. He said the debt has grown to more than $6 million.

Dimensions says it has provided treatment for thousands of city residents who previously had sought care at D.C. General Hospital before the District shut down the public hospital in 2001.


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