Report: UMC Headed for Financial Failure - 8 News NOW

Report: UMC Headed for Financial Failure

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LAS VEGAS -- University Medical Center may shut down in three years if major changes don't happen, according to a new report from the hospital's consultants.

"Sobering" is how this report is being described by county leaders. It's not even public yet but 8 News NOW has obtained a copy of it.

The report outlines a bleak picture of the hospital's future. University Medical Center's deficit is expected to go from $10 million a year now to more than $120 million by 2014. The report by consulting firm FTI says UMC may be forced to close within three years.

UMC declined to comment about on the report, stating, "It is unfortunate the report was released prior to the commissioners having a public look at the findings."

"We simply will not have the revenue to shift into UMC. I don' t know what happens at that point," said Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.

Residents from the city of Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas often go to UMC and can't afford to pay their hospital bills. Clark County picks up the tab. Individual cities do not pay to help keep the hospital open.

"If you're going to have non-paying patients, that needs to be spread on all of the people in Clark County," said Jim Rogers, former chancellor.

The report outlines how labor groups may need to give back more of the salaries to keep hospital expenses down. Hospital labor leaders say they recently secured $35 million in additional annual federal funding for the next four years.

"We were able to find money and work with the center for Medicaid/Medicare, working through the state to bring money to help the patients," said Al Martinez, SEIU president.

The report suggests that county commissioners give up control over UMC, something Commissioner Sisolak agrees with.

"We don't have the expertise to deal with a hospital. You're dealing with physicians contracts, reimbursements, collection, care quality and on and on and on," said Sisolak.

When it comes to control, Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross tells 8 News NOW that one idea is to create something like the Regional Transportation Commission when it comes to running UMC. He says it could spread the responsibility of running the hospital among all local cities

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