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UHD says rumor mill not true

By Staff | Oct 8, 2012

Before the “rumor mill” starts to run wild, United Hospital District officials want the public to know there’s no truth to what you may be hearing.

No – Dr. Kevin Kimm, who has been on medical leave, is not returning to his practice anytime soon.

And, the hospital isn’t closing its doors and is not in financial trouble.

In August, Kimm returned home after being in a coma for 26 days in April.

UHD administrator Jeff Lang says the family practice physician has been working hard on recovering and rebuilding his strength.

Despite his progress, Kimm will not be back to work within the next 30 days, as is being rumored.

“Our concern is that patients may be delaying care related to the rumors,” Lang says.

Because of Kimm’s health condition, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice will require him to complete a process before being allowed to practice again.

Lang says the process takes 90 to 120 days once initiated by Kimm, and he has not done that at this time.

“UHD and Dr. Kimm do not want patients delaying necessary care,” he adds.

The earliest Kimm could resume seeing patients would be March 1.

UHD officials will be using newspaper ads to keep patients up to date on Kimm’s condition.

Chief financial officer Larry Lee says rumors of the hospital’s financial woes may be in part to reports department heads receive weekly.

“They’re not the full picture … We are well positioned for the future,” he says.

Lee used revenue and expense data from previous years and the current to make his point. He compared the information industry standards used to measure financial stability.

Last year, the district finished with a loss.

Lee says that was due in part to depreciation and interest expenses increasing about $1 million.

Through the end of August, he says, projections show the district finishing the year with an operating profit of nearly $580,000.

In other business, the board approved a resolution to enter into a settlement agreement with Dr. William Lee to forgive his outstanding loan.

The district contends when Lee voluntarily quit in June 2010 he still owed $37,500 for funds loaned to him when he began employment.

Lang says both sides have worked countless hours on trying to reach an agreement.

The resolution states that Lee claims his employment agreement with the hospital was breached, his civil rights were violated and the district owes him more than his promissory note of $37,500.

“The hospital board recognizes that the legal costs which the hospital will incur if it pursues its claim against Dr. Lee will far exceed any potential benefit to the hospital,” says the resolution.

Both sides have agreed to release all current and potential claims against each other.