Concerned community members continue calls for state to step at RMCH

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GALLUP, N.M. – Nearly two weeks after a $973,000 lawsuit was filed against Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services, concerned community members are calling on the state to step in.

“Losing RMCH as a hospital would be devastating to our community,” said local physician and community organizer for the Community Health Action Group, Dr. Connie Liu. “We have spent a lot of time bringing to light issues related to dire staffing issues at our hospital, nonpayment of various vendors, the dearth of supplies, and most importantly issues of patient safety that will result in patient harm, imminent harm, and have resulted in harm.”

This comes after three New Jersey businesses filed a lawsuit on Nov. 16, accusing RMCHCS of holding onto grant funding that they are supposed to pass on.

An email we obtained from the hospital’s own education coordinator—sent 16 days before the claim was filed in New Jersey civil court— indicated the hospital used a total of $1.7 million dollars to pay for non-educational expenses.

“We’ve tried to bring attention to these various issues to anybody who might be able to investigate them and to provide the kind of oversight that we are thus far missing,” Dr. Liu said.

The Community Health Action Group said it has asked the New Mexico Department of Health for help on multiple occasions, but no action has been taken.

“Unfortunately, it also seems that we have a state who seems incomprehensibly unwilling to do any actual investigation of the patterns of fraud, waste and abuse that we have been continually pointing out and have only been confirmed by this current lawsuit,” Dr. Liu said.

She added that the group also sent a letter to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office in June and never received a response.

The AG’s office sent KOB 4 the following statement in response to the recent lawsuit:

“We are aware of the concerns surrounding the management of the medical center, and will step in to protect the most vulnerable if the concerns are substantiated.”

NMDOH also sent us a statement:

“We have no comment on this pending litigation.”

Click here to read the full lawsuit, and the most recent response from RMCHCS.