Correction: This article was corrected on July 5, 2021 at 8:50E to correct the title for Melissa Campos.
According to an El Paso Inc. report by David Crowder this weekend, the El Paso Children’s Hospital was visited by the Joint Commission in a surprise visit. As El Paso Politics has been reporting, the children’s hospital in embroiled in several controversies related to the care they deliver. The El Paso Children’s Hospital has also denied open records requests submitted by this publication arguing that they are not subject the Texas Public Information Act.
As previously reported by us, the Texas Attorney General dropped a complaint by us alleging violation of the public information law by the children’s hospital. The Texas Attorney General accepted the hospital’s position that it is not a governmental body under the open records laws without giving us the opportunity to state our case.
David Crowder’s report says that Melissa Campos, the Chief Financial Officer and Marina Estrada, the Human Resources Director resigned last week. Marin Estrada told Crowder that she does “have a lot to say” but doesn’t know if she’s “ready to say it yet.”
It is unknown why the Joint Commission, who accredits hospitals, visited the hospital recently. As we have reported, David Saucedo filed a complaint for the death of his daughter with the Joint Commission. The spokesperson for El Paso Children’s Hospital, Audrey Garcia, told the David Crowder that the hospital is “not aware of what prompted the visit” to the hospital.
It should be noted by readers that Estela Casas abruptly resigned from both the University Medical Center of El Paso and Children’s Hospital Foundations in late March. Her last day was April 24. Casas refused to provide reasons to El Paso Politics about her departure, other than to confirm her resignation as the Executive Director of both foundations. The foundations are the fundraising arms of both hospitals.
The recent visit by the Joint Commission is the second known visit by the accrediting agency to the children’s hospital in recent months. The hospital must have the commission’s accreditation to continue to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments for the services it renders. El Paso Children’s Hospital continues to be unresponsive to requests for documents that could share more light on the unannounced visits.
In addition to the 2015 bankruptcy and the ongoing malpractice litigation, the recent controversies suggests that the El Paso Children’s Hospital is facing internal problems that could lead to more financial difficulties for the taxpayer-owned hospital in the coming months.