CRYSTAL FALLS—Government, hospital and Iron County Medical Care officials will meet Dec. 14 to discuss the county Medicare facility’s prescription drug contract.
The meeting between the Iron County Board of Commissioners, the Iron County Department of Human Services Board and the NorthStar Health Systems Board was scheduled after county Commissioner Fran Wills received a copy of a letter sent from NorthStar’s board to Medical Care Facility Director Chester Pintarelli.
The NorthStar letter chastised Pintarelli stating, “Your partnering with this outside company when there are relevant, quality options available will directly and negatively impact the economic growth of Iron County.”
A contract with Elder Care, a subsidiary of Specialized Pharmacy, is being reviewed by the Medical Care Facility’s lawyer, according to Pintarelli, who added that three local pharmacies bid on the contract along with Elder Care.
Pintarelli recommended Elder Care to the Human Services Board because it specializes in long-term care. “They handle hundreds and hundreds of nursing homes around the country,” he said.
NorthStar’s chief financial officer, Glenn Dobson, said late last week that the hospital did not want to compete with local pharmacies for the contract, but asked the Human Services Board to consider NorthStar if the other bids were unacceptable. NorthStar even proposed partnering with a local pharmacy.
Wills said that with jobs at stake and 15,000 prescriptions worth more than $1 million going through the Iron County Medical Care Facility, the issue is a concern for him.
“I just want to see the information. We’re talking a million dollars worth of business and jobs,” Wills said. “If there’s no communication between the Medicare and hospital, I want to know why.”
The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 14 in the Board of Commissioners Room in the Courthouse.