In reading your editorial “More transparency needed on local virus response” (May 15), I note that Mercy Regional Medical Center was apparently refusing to release COVID-19 testing data to anybody, including San Juan Basin Public Health. Where is our city or county attorney, who, under these circumstances, should at least be able to subpoena the number of tests, both positive and negative?
Of course, the city or county attorney would not be able to subpoena any personal information on these patients. But he could at least be able to get numbers. I also noted from your editorial that Mercy didn’t state the cost of being tested. And from previous articles in the Herald, I note that there has been a problem with people having procedures at Mercy with insurance, but getting large bills from “out of network” providers.
When my wife had to have neck surgery at Mercy immediately before the pandemic, I furnished a written statement that out-of-network providers were not authorized, and would not be paid. I shouldn’t have to do that! Mercy operates in the city of Durango and La Plata County. Apparently, both city and county are just allowing it to operate the way it wants. In light of this pandemic, withholding COVID-19 statistics is something neither city nor county should allow.
We have found that the care personnel at Mercy are excellent. But the corporate level of this hospital and its policies need to be reined in. As it is now, Mercy is not a good corporate citizen of this city or county. This is an international emergency. Our public health authority needs the data. This should not be too much for our city and county to ask – no, demand!