CCTA WATCHDOG REPORT 17 September 2014
At the Craven County Board of Commissioners meeting this past Monday morning, the taxpayers benefited greatly from two major actions the Board took! I’ll explain one at a time.
1) The first is that the contracts for an agreement between Craven County and Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) were extensively rewritten to satisfy most of the concerns I had expressed when I petitioned the Board at their first meeting this month. I had concern that ACT was given way too much latitude as to how to spend the money they received and without transparency to the taxpayers. That has been corrected by requiring approval by the Craven County Board of Commissioners of the ACT budget. Approved expenses are to be paid by invoices to the county. Wow, now the county finance officer will be involved. Additionally, ACT will be required to agree to an annual audit also to be provided to the BOC that will become public record and, therefore, available for public inspection. Further, the county will have no responsibilities to fund any ACT activities other than the approved budget amount. These are great improvements for which the taxpayers owe the Commissioners a big “thank you!”
2) The contract for the sale of the Craven County Home Health Agency is a much tighter agreement to begin with. It accounts for all the assets to convey under the contract such as accounts receivable (only for services performed after the settlement), and the space to be rented until the purchaser can move the business, and the rental rate until that time. The contract even lists the “Excluded Assets” such as the real estate, computers, etc. This is a good precaution to avoid misunderstandings. There are some legal requirements that don’t surprise me, but that as a citizen, I object to, such as not turning anyone down for service because of the “patient’s immediate inability to pay for the services or treatment” and the requirement to “ensure that indigent care is available to the population of the area served.” Socialism at its best!
One thing that did seem a little strange to me is that the county is required to not operate a home health agency without the consent of the purchaser for only five years after settlement. However, the contract makes clear that the county will be able to operate its home hospice business which will be separated from the home health business. At one time I got confused and thought the home hospice business would be sold. Commissioner Dacey corrected me on that one. I’m sorry if I confused anyone.
I hope that Craven County will not compete with private practices in the hospice business, either home or institutional, but they seem bound to try to get that “profit” out of the taxpayers and insurance companies.
Bottom line, though, of this report is that the taxpayers will benefit greatly from the actions of the Craven County Board of Commissioners at this meeting. I thank them for that, and hope you will, too.
CCTA Watchdog Committee Chairman