Guest opinion: Mind Springs is on the right track
Mind Springs Health appeared in the news frequently recently, following the release of a tri-agency audit conducted by the state of Colorado. All three efforts are the result of nearly four months of thorough investigation and collaboration with state agencies, community stakeholders and Mind Springs Health’s current employees and practitioners. While the results of the reports show some areas of improvement remain, they also confirm what we’ve known — Mind Springs Health is on the right track.
Since March 2020, Mind Springs Health has transformed its delivery of medicine and quality of care to residents across Colorado — all while confronting and adapting to the needs of a worldwide pandemic. Working in tandem with state agencies and other community partners, we’ve focused on expanding and improving the delivery of psychiatric and mental health care services to indigent residents and state or federally funded clients. We’ve recrafted provider policies and implemented new oversight and peer review processes to ensure every client receives high quality care.
Our progress and improvement hasn’t gone unnoticed either; both were recently recognized by the Denver Post and the executive director of Colorado’s Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing, Kim Bimestefer, who oversees one of the three state agencies responsible for auditing Mind Springs Health.
Despite our growth, we recognize some challenges remain. In a recent article published by Colorado News Collaborative highlighted concerns from previous employees who alleged Mind Springs Health encouraged fraudulent record keeping practices several years ago.
We take these allegations very seriously. While most predate Mind Springs Health’s recent transformation and executive recomposition, we are committed to investigating each concern that’s been highlighted internally and through our continued cooperation with state auditors and other oversight agencies. We also have no reason to believe any of the practices alleged by these former employees could affect reimbursement to Mind Springs Health or otherwise be motivated by improper financial considerations.
However, on this point, we take care to note that Mind Springs Health’s recent state auditors looked explicitly at Mind Springs Health’s financial reporting requirements and also reviewed post-payment claims for fraud and abuse. None of the audits conducted by any of the three state agencies (CDHS, HCPF and CDPHE) reported any concerns of fraud or abuse. The audits also directly solicited feedback and survey responses from current Mind Springs Health employees, none of whom raised or corroborated any allegation of fraud.
Instead, the auditors found Mind Springs Health and its new executive leadership to be a “willing partner” committed to improving the quality of care and delivery of mental health care services to every resident of Colorado it serves.
Although we have more work to accomplish and new challenges to meet, we look forward to continuing our commitment to our state and community partners to enhance the care every Mind Springs Health client receives.
My door is always open. And questions are welcome.
Doug Pattison is the interim CEO of Mind Springs Health & West Springs Hospital.