The predicament Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro has put Keiro Senior HealthCare into has been solved. If you want to call it a stroke of genius, be my guest. This is no time for false modesty. It’s time to end the impasse.
The solution: Keiro stops ongoing escrow proceedings, effectively ending negotiations with Pacifica Group; ending the attorney general’s involvement. The move would also end the protest movement of the Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro; mission accomplished.
Simplicity to the nth degree, but with a need for elaboration:
All four Keiro operations would return to normality, as if Pacifica (and Ensign) never happened. Having achieved its stated goal, AHCSK would/should be satisfied. What would follow is a cooling-off period, for a recommended period of one year. This would pacify an aroused community and lay the foundation for communication. The public hearing demanded by ad hoc was never the answer, civil conversation between the parties was. Prior to the start of negotiations, these suggested ground rules:
A nebulous “Community” would become Keiro’s acting board of directors. Every month the entire range of operations would be put under public scrutiny. Reports made online and via media outlets would include information regarding all costs, open to additional inquiries if necessary. Instead of an unruly band of unqualified inquisitors, the board would be formed from a select group of volunteers, rotated for obvious reasons, eliminating glory hounds and offering maximum involvement.
The monthly reports would keep the public informed of losses/gains, the nuances of Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid and the impact on operations. This approach would keep an inquisitive community fully informed of the challenges confronted by CEO Shawn Miyake and his maligned board of directors. This would also put an end to arguments regarding transparency and arbitrary facts and figures.
And let’s be realistic: This proposal is a complete disaster as far as Keiro Senior HealthCare and Pacifica Group are concerned. With escrow proceedings scrubbed, the sale would unravel and Pacifica would bow out.
And if current Keiro projections hold true, unnecessary losses would be incurred, not to mention the loss of $41,000,000 purchase price.
My answer to that scenario: Fine, it’s okay. At least Keiro will have proven to a doubting public the righteousness of its leadership and foresight. Even if $41 mil going down the tubes is a hefty price to pay for the simple pleasure of saying, “Told you so!”
I don’t mean to make light of eight figures, but there’s another way to look at my strange proposal. For the sake of argument, let’s say the one- year cooling-off period results in a million-dollar loss. And Pacifica (or any other leeching for-profit) decides it doesn’t want to return to the scene of the crime. Keiro would have no other option but to continue its mission; maybe retrench and downgrade but soldier on until existing funds are exhausted.
Let’s assume this route might extend Keiro’s mission another five years – the same period of time Pacifica has guaranteed to maintain status quo – or longer. Like Doctor Matsumoto, one of ADCSK’s make-sense leaders, CR2S is concerned more about the future of staff and volunteers than any perceived profit.
We are now arguing with ourselves, so here is additional food for thought.
With the one-year agreement, the Pacifica deal would be automatically negated, leaving Keiro with a questionable future. But the ever-growing community discontent would not only end, there has been renewed interest and reinforcements. This newfound awareness should enhance census and future stability. Enough to offset healthcare trends (or $41 mil) is the unknown, but worth a try?
And finally, let’s confront the elephant in our midst. The inevitable hassle that would occur over how proceeds from a sale would be managed and dispersed. It would a barn-burner of major proportions, a brouhaha that would split the community to a point of shame. It would only be a matter of time before this commotion raised its ugly head. [If you wish to debate this assumption and are positive we are above such self-destruction, take a number.
Let’s be serious. A one-year continuance would first put an end to the discontent, for a huge price, to be sure. And with what funds remain in the coffer, diminishing or not, Keiro would continue to operate as if there is a tomorrow. When (and if) the end comes, everyone will be sad but satisfied. Although going broke, there would be no repercussions or finger-pointing. [And the real property might still remain an asset.]
Grandiose talk about honoring and caring for our elderly is admirable. So let’s refrain, restrain and end the rhetoric. Let’s come together and agree on the future of our beloved Keiro. It’s a major problem but it’s not rocket science.
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.