For Immediate Release
DATE: September 29, 2015
El Paso, Texas: El Paso Children’s Hospital issued the following statement today:
This morning, the Board of El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) asked for representatives of UMC and County Commissioners Court to explain the rejection of EPCH’s acceptance of an interim proposal that the parties have been negotiating for nearly two weeks.
EPCH Board Chair Rosemary Castillo reaffirmed that the EPCH board had accepted, UMC’s counter-offer. “We were only given a couple of hours Monday morning to respond to UMC’s counter proposal. We gave approval to the terms as explained by UMC’s counsel. We still don’t know why they think we changed any terms. The interpretation of this last issue was first discussed between counsel last Thursday when UMC surprised us with a totally new term in its counteroffer.”
On Friday, EPCH gave a timely response to UMC’s Thursday offer of an interim agreement with two alternative proposals, including one that would have resolved the litigation completely. EPCH gave UMC three days to consider and respond to the opportunity to end the litigation.
“We wanted to show them that we are more than willing to drop the litigation if they recognize that the obligations to UMC have to be modified to reflect the market place for the children’s hospital to thrive,” said lead litigation attorney Patricia Tomasco, a partner with Jackson Walker in Austin. “Despite discussions between counsel all weekend, UMC has yet to even respond to EPCH’s global offer. Rather, UMC went back to its prior offer delivered on Thursday and then rejected EPCH’s attempt to accept it.”
Tomasco reiterated that. “We offered to talk at 11 p.m. last night and again at 6 a.m. this morning.” EPCH Board Chair Rosemary Castillo expressed frustration with UMC’s and Commissioners Court’s actions. “It certainly looks like they don’t want to settle. We make a global offer and they don’t even respond. We accept their interim proposal and they say ‘no you didn’t!’ It makes no sense.”
El Paso Children’s Hospital is committed to serving the best interests of the critically ill and injured children of our community and surrounding region.
Thursday, September 24th
o UMC adds totally new term to counter-offer: Children’s gets 45 more days to find a strategic partner, Children’s postpones lawsuit till January
Friday, September 25th
o 10:00 am – EPCH presents UMC with counter-offer (Plan A and Plan B) to UMC
o Commissioner’s Court indicates…”want the weekend to review”
o Escobar says Commissioner’s Court will convene with UMC Board of Managers at 8:30 am Monday in a special session before the Commissioner’s Court regular meeting
Monday, September 28
o 10:00 am – UMC sends EPCH counter-offer rejecting abated rent, requires approximately $5 million Disproportionate Share payment EPCH expects to receive in December to go to UMC
o 11:00 am – EPCH agrees to terms of counter-offer, says, “Yes” to concessions.
o 12:00 noon – UMC Board of Managers and Commissioner’s Court respond rejecting EPCH plan which includes EPCH’s agreement to concessions requested two hours earlier.
Tuesday, September 29
o Emergency hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Austin. UMC will ask Mott to allow UMC to submit its own plan and end EPCH exclusivity.
Monday, October 22
o Trial set to determine whether the Children’s hospital has been overcharged for rent and/or services by UMC.