Ownership question: Hospital corporation leases from county
In the light of allegations of impropriety surrounding Bingham Memorial Hospital (BMH), questions have arisen about who owns the facility.
Bingham County commissioner Cleone Jolley said, “If I were a farmer who owned my land and decided to lease it, I would still own the farm. The person to whom I leased it could use the land as he/she saw fit as long as the person stayed within the contract.”
Bingham County owns the hospital like that farmer.
BMH, Inc., is an Idaho non-profit corporation recognized as a 501(c)(3) entity by the Internal Revenue System.
“If the hospital goes into default, the county gets it back,” Jolley said.
The county does not have a say about how the lessee (the hospital) operates it.
In the agreement between Bingham Memorial Hospital and Bingham County, the county receives a fixed payment of $150,000 each year. In addition, the county receives 5 percent of the hospital’s revenue in excess of expenses. This amount is capped at $150,000 each year.
Each year, Bingham County will receive reimbursement from BMH, Inc., for the first $150,000 of indigent payments made by Bingham County to BMH, Inc.
If BMH provides service to indigents, the hospital will reimburse the county for the first $150,000 of indigent payments made by the county each year. An indigent is defined as a person without personal resources, such as a person who is needy or poor.
Adding these three funds together, the maximum amount the county could receive each year from BMH totals $450,000.
According to Bingham County Clerk Sara Staub, the fixed payment of $150,000 was received by the county in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 (the most recent posting).
In the excess of revenues over expenses category, Bingham County received $75,000 in the six months ending on Dec. 31, 2007. In 2008, Bingham County received $23,616.
The hospital had no excess of revenues in 2009 so the county did not receive funds from BMH that year.
On Dec. 31, 2010, Bingham County received $150,000 from BMH in the excess of revenues over expenses category.
The amounts in the indigent care payment varied from year to year.
In the six months ending in 2007, the county received $53,770.74; at the end of 2008, the amount was $66,450.45. At the end of 2009, the amount reimbursed the county for indigent care totaled $120,016.73 and in 2010, the indigent care payment totaled $59,006.40.