Bach weighs in on Memorial negotiations

Mayor Steve Bach sent the Colorado Springs City Council a letter this week, outlining his vision for the way the negotiations to lease Memorial Health System should proceed.

Bach, first of all, wants to be more involved. He also wants to use outside legal counsel to help City Attorney Chris Melcher during the negotiations. The money for the outside counsel should come from Memorial’s budget and then be reimbursed by University of Colorado Hospital, the council’s choice to lease Memorial.

Bach also wants negotiations to take no more than six months and is asking for a concrete solution on the issue of how to remove the hospital system from the Public Employees Retirement Association. PERA has given a multi-million dollar estimate for Memorial to exit the pension plan. No exact estimate can be given, according to PERA officials, until the lease is finished.

Council should also make sure that all money from UHC – up front payments, lease payments and surplus revenue sharing payments – are all transferred into a segregated account at the city. Bach doesn’t not want the money in the General Fund, and Attorney General John Suthers has ruled that money from the sale should go to “similar use” under state law.

Bach’s requests also bans Memorial’s management and board from actively participating in the negotiations – but should provide timely information to Melcher when asked.

Bach also said the ballot initiative should crate a Colorado Springs Health care foundation with a stated mission, governance structure and policy guidelines – to be determined by the mayor and city council.

Other issues Bach wants addressed during negotiations:

- a commitment on the use of cash currently held by memorial

- a commitment to increase the trauma center

- a commitment to maintain TriCare, Medicare and indigent care

- A commitment for the branch medical campus – with a written timeline, stated deadlines for progress and a firm guarantee of $3 million a year toward such effort

- A commitment to continue the Sexual Assault Nurse Evaluation

- A financial guarantee and proof of financial resources, commensurate with the financial commitments of the lessee over the full term of the lease

- Stated and measurable performance outcomes that ensure the community is receiving the appropriate level of care and performance from Memorial, with clear reporting obligation, guarantees and penalty provisions.

- Clear and well structured termination provisions in the event the Lessee is unable to satisfy the obligations of the lease, even after notice and a cure period

- Clear and firm financial guarantees from the lessee on the additional funds htat would be provided RFP progress and an appropriate share of future MHS surplus revenue or profits basedon in improved operations.