Brown-Darrell CT Scan Unit To Close On Jan 31

January 14, 2018

[Updated] The CT Scan Unit at Brown-Darrell Clinic will close on January 31, 2018, with the company saying it is as a “result of severe reductions in payments by the Bermuda Health Council.”

“For the past ten years Brown-Darrell has provided back-up CT services to KEMH and a private choice in CT care for Bermudian patients. We have also been at the industry forefront in providing highly specialized physician reports and in reducing turnaround time,” the company said.

“We never anticipated that we would be put out of business by a Government agency, but the Bermuda Health Council achieved one of its goals — the closure of Brown-Darrell CT,” said Dr. Ewart Brown, Executive Chairman of Bermuda Healthcare Services and Brown-Darrell Clinic.

Dr. Brown went on to say, “Few businesses could survive up to 87% cuts in revenue with only 2 weeks notice. No local or exempt company has ever been treated so harshly. As the Health Council empire-builds itself with more highly paid consultants, employees and unnecessary travel, it is wreaking havoc on the provision of physician services to Bermudians.”

The company added that Bermuda HealthCare will not be affected by this decision.

A Health Council spokesperson said, “The Government of Bermuda is committed to ensuring that healthcare is affordable. The Health Council shares this goal and is working hard to reduce health insurance premiums.

“One of the Health Council’s functions is recommending to the Minister of Health what the reimbursement rates [the amounts paid to providers for patients covered by Standard Health Benefit insurance] should be for imaging services. It is a form of price control.

“The Health Council’s recommendations are based on a resource-based relative value scale [RBRVS] methodology. This is the same methodology as that used by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid for determining reimbursement rates in the USA. It is a robust and transparent methodology for determining the rates that can reasonably be charged by private sector providers for medical services.

“The switch to the RBRVS methodology has been the subject of considerable and lengthy consultation and discussion with stakeholders since 2013. The Health Council has always been conscious of the impact of this methodology. For this reason, it was only implemented in 2015 after a two year consultation process. Further the Heath Council adopted a staggered approach to its implementation. The new methodology was applied to ultrasound and x ray imaging service rates in 2015 but to MRI and CT services in 2017.

“We regret the decision, announced this weekend, that the Brown-Darrell clinic will stop providing CT scan services at the end of January 2018. It is however incorrect for the Brown-Darrell clinic to suggest that it has been targeted. The Health Council adopts the same approach to all service providers.

“The Health Council is confident that, despite this announcement, there is and will continue to be reasonable provision for CT scan services in Bermuda.”

Update 10.50pm: Minister of Health, Kim Wilson said, “The new Government took steps to mitigate the impact of significant fee reductions by the previous Government. The Brown-Darrell Clinic [BDC], Bermuda Health Care Services [BHCS] and the Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB] were negatively affected by the reduction in fees they were able to charge for CT and MRI services.

“When the current Government came into office, the situation was reviewed and several options were considered to mitigate the adverse impact caused by the former government’s rate reductions. After review, it was decided to supplement the fees for MRI and CT services performed at all entities from Government funds rather than raise residents’ health insurance premiums mid-year.

“The Government is currently reviewing all health care fees and will implement a new fee schedule in 2018. Making health care more affordable will continue to be one of the most important Government initiatives.

“The Government regrets the impending end of CT services at the Brown-Darrell Clinic but wishes to assure the public that access to CT scans will continue to be available at BHB.”

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Comments (39)

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  1. Mark says:

    You mean you werent able to bleed the people dry anymore? Boo hoo. Now it all back please.

  2. Hey says:

    2 weeks notice? maybe someone else could confirm that only 2 weeks notice was sent out to the health providers.

  3. meh. says:

    I just don’t get how Brown can pretend to play the victim….

  4. Cedar Stump says:

    Greedy killed piggy !

  5. wahoo says:

    Perhaps greed plays a role in these decisions as much as anything else.

  6. Truth says:

    The other CT providers didn’t need to shut down over the same cuts. Maybe, just maybe, could this be about something else?

    • frank says:

      who other than the hospital does ct scans
      this was doe by the former OBA to cripple Dr Brown
      and while were at it why are the hospital scans read by some one
      all the way over in Australia like they could not find some one
      on the east cost.
      if fact what is really driving the cost of heath care up is the high
      healthcare premiums and a man must pay more than a woman

      • Onion says:

        Yes, this is being done to reduce healthcare premiums. You pay so much because people like Brown are getting rich off of your payments.

    • Lualaba says:

      Exactly!! There is a new one opening in town shortly

  7. King Jammys says:

    No local company has been treated so harshly? Anyone remember the cement silos?

    • Ringmaster says:

      Mustn’t mention the cement silos, nor the “one down one to go” gloat when the Bermuda Sun closed. Pure hypocrisy.
      Everyone wants health care costs to reduce but when steps are taken to reduce them, someone complains.

      • Ringmaster says:

        Correction – it was the Mid Ocean News, not the Sun

    • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

      Karma is a b—-!

  8. Vortex says:

    The Bermuda Health Council are a regulatory body set up to ensure a fair provision of Healthcare for Bermuda and its residents. Dr Brown is of course politicising this (as he always does) – but this is about economics and BDC coming up short.

    Of course any business that has its eggs so squarely in one basket, is a bad business. Dr Brown should be painfully aware of that.

    KEMH doing this and not a private, for profit entity has to be good news for the island, regardless of how you vote.

  9. Stevie says:

    About time. Brown, have you been caught at last?

  10. Me says:

    Same way he closed down st Georges golf club and mulligans restaurant karma a biachhhhhh

  11. campervan says:

    Waaaaah! Its not fair!

  12. Up D hill says:

    What goes around comes around !

  13. Doctor's View says:

    We need that machine!

  14. A Doctor's View says:

    It is expressed that the initial implementation of this measure was directed at Dr. Brown personally. We can muse the reasons behind that personal attack and those musings will include political motivation and personal vendettas. That notwithstanding, we must ask if it is in the best interest of patient care and what are the health consequence of the elimination of this service for these apparently unjust reasons.
    Dr. Brown is not the issue here. Patient care is the issue. We must balance the cost of care against the quality of care always but this has not been the approach in this instance. I for one believe that we need that machine. The expert opinions rendered by Lahey Clinic radiologist are complementary to our local radiologist, the ease and convenience when KEMH is full and the option to choose when there is a need to are all compelling reasons to protect us against this unfair retributive action on the part of a culture that seeks to destroy a practice and person.
    We need this machine…it is just good medicine. Some will retort “at what cost?” I suggest we make the cost relevant to the cost of living and cost of operating the service in the jurisdiction. We should look at cost reduction across the system and not cherry pick persons who we dont like and use cost as an excuse to be vindictive.

    • Gary says:

      Check out emoo in 2 weeks !

    • Annie says:

      ‘We need that machine’? Is that ‘we’ as in Brown-Darrell Clinic/Bda. Healthcare or ‘we’ as in the public because it seems that the public won’t be affected at all. They will still have access to scans. It wasn’t like Gov’t said the public could no longer have scans at Brown-Darrell Clinic, it seems TPTB at BD made the decision as it will no longer be profitable. I’ve always had a problem with physicians having their own diagnostic services-even something as simple as a lab. That doctor is then going to utilize that as much as possible. I went to another physician who has a large lab and he had me go for blood tests and ticked practically every box on the lab form. He said “Let’s test you for sickle cell while we’re at it.” I told him I had been tested for it numerous times in the past, including during pregnancy and did not have the trait and he said “Oh, we’ll test you for it anyway.” That’s more money coming in for him. It was such a turn-off because I knew exactly what he was doing.

      The kicker was that my insurance company rejected one of the blood tests as it was a duplicate and included in another of the tests he’d requested-I believe what he was testing for would have shown up in the CBC he ordered, for example, so there was no need for a separate test. I called their office and spoke to a woman who acknowledged that they had had this problem before with the insurance companies so I asked her “SO WHY DO YOU STILL DO IT?” I told her that we as patients just trust that our doctors know what they are doing, and that I didn’t expect to be stuck with a $300 medical bill and threatened to report them to all and sundry. Long story short, they worked it out with my insurance company but I chose to no longer see this doctor. He then had the nerve to publicly complain when MRI fees dropped as he had plans in place for one and he said he would not make as much revenue as he thought he would when he first put the plans in motion. I thought “Good” because he would have probably been sending people for scans left, right and center to get a good return on his investment. This needs to be looked at. These doctors are lining their pockets while premiums are climbing through the roof. Everyone should try and utilize the hospital as much as possible and support an institution that benefits our entire community and not just a few fat cat doctors out to make a quick buck.

  15. Annie says:

    While we’re on the topic, Bermuda Healthcare Services has gone seriously downhill in regards to patient care. I know many patients who are thinking of leaving the practice to go elsewhere. It’s like they just don’t listen to what patients need anymore-why pay for that? I won’t be surprised if there’s a mass exodus of patients and they close down as well.

  16. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The switch to the RBRVS methodology has been the subject of considerable and lengthy consultation and discussion with stakeholders since 2013. The Health Council has always been conscious of the impact of this methodology. For this reason, it was only implemented in 2015 after a two year consultation process.”

    So much for 2 weeks’ notice.

  17. Realist says:

    Supplementing the costs of these tests from Government funds is still taking from the tax payer as Government funds are monies that belong to the tax payer. Again, we continue to spend money by the new government for solutions but we don’t hear how they are generating money.

  18. Mrs Brady says:

    Brown has to finally eat it. Kama is a bioch

  19. nerema says:

    “..After review, it was decided to supplement the fees for MRI and CT services performed at all entities from Government funds…”

    So when she talks about ‘reducing healthcare costs’, she actually means healthcare costs have been raised again, but now the taxpayer is directly paying. All to keep Dr. Brown in BMWs.

    • Do Right says:

      For the Council to state that this is a form of price controls is alarming to say the least. This is not a solution to the problem.

  20. Do Right says:

    So, I assume that the lahey lawsuit, and the information contained within, has NO relevance to this discussion?

  21. Warwick West says:

    Sorry. Not Sorry.

    Woooo hoooo.

  22. Thank you, tremendously, Ewart.
    Job well done.

  23. the ghost says:

    Go away Dr. Hon. Ewart Brown….