Approximately $3.6M In Scan Fee Supplements

September 28, 2018

Between payments to the three providers, debt offset and projected future payments, the Government is set to provide approximately $3.6 million in financial supplements to MRI and CT scan providers for 2017/18.

Earlier this year, the Government confirmed they “granted financial supplements” to “help ensure CT and MRI services are readily available,” and in providing updated figures today, the Ministry of Health said, “Brown Darrell was paid $139,161 for the period June 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018. Bermuda HealthCare Services was paid $680,966 for period June 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018.

“Further payments will cover April 1, 2018 – October 31, 2018 and any outstanding [if any] claims for period June 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018. It is estimated that Bermuda HealthCare Services MRI payments for 1 April to 31 October 2018 may be approximately $420,000.

“To date the Government has settled $1.8 million with BHB to off-set against a BHB debt to the Superannuation Fund. This covers the period 1st June 2017 to 31st March 2018. Subsequent payments are still being adjudicated so the amounts are not yet known, but are projected at approximately $600,000.

“All payments are based on actual utilization so the total paid will be confirmed after the 2018 fees take effect on 1st November 2018,” the Ministry added.

In approximate terms, that is around a total of $3.6 million, with $1.2 million to Brown Darrell and BHCS, with $820,000 already having been paid and $420,000 projected, while the $2.4 million to the Bermuda Hospitals Board encompasses a $1.8 million off-set against a BHB debt to the Superannuation Fund, and subsequent payments projected at $600,000.

The financial supplements to Brown Darrell and BHCS appear to be actual payments, while the $1.8 million for BHB — which was phrased as “settled $1.8 million with BHB to off-set against a BHB debt to the Superannuation Fund” — appears to be a case of waiving funds owed to another area within Government.

Two of the three providers receiving payments, Brown Darrell and BHCS, are operated by Dr Ewart Brown, who previously said that it “was a settlement in the sense that there was court action pending,” while the Health Ministry previously confirmed “that a letter before action was received in relation to the fee levels.”

Speaking today, Dr Brown said that “as fees were slashed by the OBA, we sought relief from the Government, and the Government adjusted the fees and later paid the difference between the two. It is as simple as that.”

“All providers, the hospital, Brown Darrell [which does CT] and Bermuda Health Care Services [which does MRI]  — who to date are the only providers of MRI and CT — were compensated.”

“Despite the initial compensatory payment, the CT fees remained so low, we closed to avoid operating at a substantial loss. We are reopening the CT scan services at Brown Darrell as the Government has adjusted the fees which gives us a fighting chance at a viable business.”

“The fees were previously cut as high as 87%, and remain reduced by approximately 30%,” Dr Brown added. ”The amount involved is not as much as the America’s Cup, but it will allow Bermudians to have a choice in their health care.”

The matter of scans was a key aspect of the lawsuit filed against Lahey Clinic — which was filed in early 2017 and dismissed by a Massachusetts Court in early 2018 – as it alleged that the U.S hospital conspired with Dr Brown and there were “excessive, medically unnecessary” MRI and CT scans were performed, and Bermudians “ranked among the most scanned patients in the world.”

The Government had confirmed the payments earlier this year, saying that “Government has recently granted financial supplements to the Brown-Darrell Clinic [BDC], Bermuda Health Care Services [BHCS] and the Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB] in order to help ensure CT and MRI services are readily available to the public.”

“Both BDC, BHCS and BHB were affected under the previous Government by a downward adjustment to the fees which they were able to charge for CT and MRI services. These new fees were significantly lower than the technical recommendation.

“Reverting all diagnostic imaging fees to the pre-June 2017 rates would have increased all Bermuda residents’ health insurance premiums by $23.03 a month, and cost the Government an additional $8.6 million,” the Government said earlier this year, adding that “if premiums increase Government spends more on HIP, FutureCare, Subsidy, Financial Assistance and GEHI.”

The cost of healthcare in Bermuda has long been a topic of discussion and concern, and in the 2018 Budget, the the Ministry of Health was allocated $190 million, the largest of all Ministries.

Chart from the 2018 Budget showing expenditures:

2018 Budget Expenditures Figures

According to recent figures from the Bermuda Health Council, in financial year 2016, total health expenditure was $701.4 million, a 1.9% increase from the previous year, and health expenditure per capita was $11,362, an increase of 2.2%

27.4% [$192 million] of financing was from the public sector, 72.6% [$509.4 million] of financing was from the private sector, and health insurance premiums accounted for 62.3% [$436.7 million] of health financing.

Document released by the Government earlier this year about scan compensation [PDF here]

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Comments (39)

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  1. Family Man says:

    Broken down trash trucks, broken down buses, broken down tugs but lots of money to hand out to their rich friends and family members.

    • Hair says:

      Family Man, well said!!!

    • Question says:

      Rats running everywhere day and night, and yet there’s millions of dollars spare for corporate welfare for millionaires.

  2. CS says:

    Let me understand this correctly:
    If Govt cuts fees, a business can threaten legal action that results in getting subsidies from Govt? So it goes to reason that if Govt. increases taxes, businesses can seek compensation from Govt, correct? After all, the same argument that reduced fees harmed a medical business then so does increased taxes. Every business in Bermuda looks eligible for a handout.
    This looks like nothing more than a friends and family plan. Please let me know how I can sign up.

  3. Remeber when Gibbs Hill Lighthouse was says:

    a rusty looking shell of its current glory.

    Its history repeating itself…..

    We are Progressively Labouring along the same Path today.

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!!!

  4. sandgrownan says:

    I wonder what DREB has on these guys?

    I love his little dig at The America’s Cup too, what a slimeball.

    The reason we know it’s a handout / pay back, is that even without his scanner online, we know that demand and wait times didn’t change. This means that this market is already adequately served. In other words, we the taxpayer, are funding DREB’s unsustainable business model.

    I wonder if other businesses could apply to Government for subsidy?

  5. question says:

    Corporate welfare to millionaires. In the meantime our healthcare costs go up and they wring their hands like they give a crap.
    They do not care about us ordinary people, that’s for sure.

  6. Wahoo says:

    Ready, set, puke.

  7. Retro says:

    Well, Canonnier , let’s hear some viable opposition !

  8. Stormy daniels says:

    I was laid off work during the oba time. Can I get a handout.

  9. Cedar Stump says:

    Voters regret anyone ? People that voted you in are living paycheck to paycheck while you grant $1.2 million to a millionaire. All of this while Bermuda spirals into the financial abyss it is becoming.

  10. Fed Up says:

    The family and friends rewards/ benefits have begun again. Who receives the next huge payout? I’m still wondering when we will find out where the millions that have gone missing under his tenure will be found or repaid. As a taxpayer we see the island is in need of buses, trash truck, schools need repairs, health care (beyond the normal pricing for the average family), roads need repaving and the list goes on.
    What are people planning on doing as things have been very quiet. Why aren’t they out in the streets protesting. Are you satisfied with the way things are headed?

    • Tweedy Bird,Chris and de Union says:

      Where are the People’s Campaign? Oh yeah right! It was just an election ploy nothing more.

      What is that song? I see your true colors shining through!

  11. Ringmaster says:

    Tax receipts are declining as debt, salaries to Civil Servants and payouts like this increase. What could possibly go wrong? Fintech and cryptos won’t fill the gap.

  12. Jt says:

    There’s a sucker born every minute. That makes a lot of suckers to be played and the band is performing again.

  13. John E. Thorne says:

    Where is the People’s Campaign?

  14. And the mold says:

    Still grows in our schools. The buses don’t work. The debt servicing charges are now marching forward and higher given the hostile interest rate cycle that has begun.

    Sadly this PLP administration hasn’t learned from the disaster of the last one. The only thing that is different is the ministerial proclamation for the desire to consume titty milk.

    Sorry I gave you my vote.

  15. Superannuation fund says:

    Why are gov workers to absorb the cost of this? The unions need to speak out about this…how will this affect the fund overall?

    “BHB — which was phrased as “settled $1.8 million with BHB to off-set against a BHB debt to the Superannuation Fund” — appears to be a case of waiving funds owed to another area within Government “

    ““To date the Government has settled $1.8 million with BHB to off-set against a BHB debt to the Superannuation Fund. ”

    Please explain Government!,,,

  16. Infidelguy says:

    This is a farce!

    “Government has recently granted financial supplements to the Brown-Darrell Clinic (BDC), Bermuda Health Care Services (BHCS) and the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) in order to help ensure CT and MRI services are readily available to the public”

    In essence, what this says is that the government had no choice but to pay these “financial supplements” (I’ll just call them ransom payments), otherwise CT and MRI providers would essentially withdraw this vital public health service.

    This is Bermuda’s version of “Too Big to Fail”!

  17. Sister Nancy says:

    If the PLP supporters have nothing to say about this then we know how intelligent they are. Where is the People’s Campaign where are the grannies? What do you all have to say about this . Do you still feel sorry for the great EB?Hmm I wonder how much he will give his supporters. Yeah right ZERO. Unbelievable how this man continues to make millions off his own people and ever sadder is you all still love the man. Wake up and pay attention part people.

    • Paul says:

      You got to admit DR Brown has more brains than all of the P.L.P.members put together,he is always a few steps ahead of most people,and a good lawyer also helps.

  18. Onion Joke says:

    And not a peep from cousin Onion Juice to give us some racial justification.

  19. This time around says:

    They aren’t even trying to hide the “use” of govt funds! Must be nice to have no conscience. I think I’m going to stop paying my taxes if they are just going to give it away.

  20. Vote no more says:

    We have homelessness, unemployment. Trashy buses, less trash trucks. Don’t forget the govt vehicles that have been mashed up in accidents that we are yet to get reports on.
    And Burt coin finds that his friend needs more of Bermuda money.

    • Paul says:

      I hope the Governor,is paying attention.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        All governors since 1973 have been acutely aware of what makes this island tick. That’s why they don’t do SFA and take a nice pension after their term is up.

        • Paul says:

          that is a sad state of affairs, so what you are saying is the Governor comes here on our dime and wines and dines and has a good time, what a job !!!!!!!!!!!

          • sandgrownan says:

            Kind of like DREB isn’t it. He’s wining a dining on your dime. At least the Gov. spends the money in Bermuda.

  21. Truth be told says:

    Serious question here:

    The Sugar Tax, which starts Monday, will hit retailers HARD.
    Will they be getting a bailout too?

  22. Reason says:

    Why are soo many people soo angry because healthcare facilities were compensated for services rendered. This sounds fair and reasonable. The only reason some of You angry people are angry because of personal feelings and bigotries within Yourselves. This is dfair what Government has done. What – would You be happier if all The money went to americas cup inna. This is for fair and reasonable healthcare but some Bigots would not see it like that. All they see is Dr. Brown and then red- with no reasoning at all. Typical of the sort I am Typing about. Of Course You wouldn’t see it as I and many others, more of us then YOU, see it! The Money went to Health care Clinics. Did the article say Dr.Brown has the money in His Account?!? NO, It went on healthcare services that are needed. And Must be paid for! As Do Groceries and other things which are Not free or cheap! It Costs Money! Government has been fair and reasonable unlike some of These commenters who are obviously just full of anger and hatred. Forward with The peoples business and Thank You. Stay In Power! Typo haters can hate all they want. Stay where You are Haters… On Your screens typing away. Meanwhile PLP is In Power. Put Up and Shut Up.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Hope you love seeing taxes go up and your cost of living sky rocket along with your money becoming more worthless every day.
      Oops, , sorry , doesn’t matter to people like you because you really believe that it’s just a bunch of racists envious of DREB who aren’t worried about the future of this island.

  23. Me says:

    The current government dont care about anything only stopping bermudians getting married where is Burtcoin anyways ?still hiding behind his fall guys all gone quiet with him and tiddy man