To the Editor:
I write in response to your story on a report implying that Hadassah Medical Center, owned by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of American (HWZOA), was late on payments to some of its suppliers.
There is actually less to this story than has been alleged. Without context, these allegations are meaningless. It is a basic reality of operating a business that when one entity that owes another fails to fulfill its financial obligations, the second entity struggles in consequence to pay its own bills on time.
Unfortunately, Hadassah Medical Organization is still waiting on substantial end-of-the-year payments due from numerous insurance companies. The hospital understands that at this time of year, many businesses – large and small – routinely struggle to make the many payments they have due, and we hoped the vendors that work with us would extend to us the same courtesy we have been forced to extend to these various HMOs.
The reality is that the remainder Hadassah Medical Organization still owes to a very few large vendors is but a tiny fraction of its overall budget, and it is essential to understand that the hospital is a mere couple of weeks behind in these few payments. The NIS 8 million due is less than half of one percent of its overall budget of NIS 2 billion.
Furthermore, the hospital’s funding structure is independent from HWZOA’s, and its routine end-of-the-year cash flow changes are completely unrelated. HWZOA raises money to support Hadassah Medical Organization’s research and building projects, but the hospital is responsible for its own operating budget, under which daily expenses, employee salaries and supplier payments fall. Despite economic challenges in the United States and Europe, HWZOA has raised more than $260 million toward the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower, a crowning achievement in advancing health care, which will be dedicated in October at HWZOA’s centennial anniversary celebration in Jerusalem.
When the hospital’s board realized the cash flow it depends upon was not going to be paid in full by insurance companies, the board was certain to first pay small business owners who are affected the most by changes in cash flow, and to briefly delay payment to larger vendors who do not depend on the hospital’s payments to pay their employees. All open accounts will have been resolved and all suppliers paid in full within only a few weeks’ time.
National President, Hadassah, New York, N.Y.