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Motion Picture & Television Fund Defends Itself in the Wake of Closing Its Hospital and Long-Term Care Unit

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Motion Picture & Television Fund announced that it was going to close their hospital and long term care unit. And then the rumors and allegations started. We don’t know if they’re true, we just know that actors are trained to be dramatic.

Anyway, the MPTF drew up a press release to defend themselves. We’ve posted the entire thing after the jump.

Here’s part of the problem with health care in this country – you could die of boredom reading their press releases. Enjoy!


WOODLAND HILLS, CA–(Marketwire – February 11, 2009) – The Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), the entertainment industry’s premier health and social services organization, held an audio press conference today to address concerns about the recently announced closure of its acute care hospital and long-term care facility. Also discussed were inaccuracies being reported about the closure.

Participating in the media conference were Frank Mancuso, Chair of MPTF Corp. Board; Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chair of MPTF Foundation; Joe Fischer, Chair of MPTF Board of Trustees; Dr. David Tillman, President and CEO of MPTF; Ken Scherer, CEO of MPTF Foundation; Seth Ellis, COO of MPTF; Mark Fleischer, MPTF Board Member; Steve Valentine, CEO of The Camden Group; and Andy Garb, Loeb & Loeb (MPTF legal counsel).

Mancuso said that “the decision to close the hospital and long-term care facility did not come easily, but one the Boards needed to make. This decision was made so that we can continue to provide services and support to the 215 residents on the Wasserman Campus, the 100 children who are cared for at the Goldwyn Center, the 1,100 people who received financial support from MPTF last year, the almost 5,000 people who reach out to MPTF for some type of social service and the more than 65,000 patients that use one of our six health centers every year. We have an obligation to these people, and future generations of entertainment industry workers, to make sure MPTF is there for them.”

MPTF leaders went on to identify and dispel several untrue allegations that have been made since the initial announcement on January 14. Among them were:

1. ALLEGATION: MPTF’s announcement of its acute hospital and
long-term care closure effectively ends the comprehensive care it
once provided to aging industry members.

TRUTH: MPTF is, in fact, continuing its commitment to comprehensive care for seniors in the entertainment industry, including those who will need to relocate. Each person who is relocated will be followed by a Community Care Team consisting of a doctor, a nurse practitioner, nurses, pastoral care and a social worker, all of whom will continue to be involved with their care. Seniors needing hospitalization or long-term care following the closure will be provided with referrals to other MPTF-approved facilities. MPTF continues to provide care for the more than 215
retirees who live on the Wasserman Campus in independent and
assisted living and memory care. We expect this will ultimately
position us to be able to provide comprehensive care and assistance
to the thousands of entertainment industry seniors who want to age
in their own homes.

2. ALLEGATION: MPTF’s claim that declining Medi-Cal reimbursements
and a depleting endowment are reasons for the closure is untrue.

TRUTH: Medi-Cal reimbursement, which represents more than 80
percent of MPTF patient load, has not kept up with the operating
costs of the MPTF hospital and long-term care unit. MPTF provides
millions of additional dollars to provide the outstanding service
and care that has been so widely acknowledged. The gap between
what MPTF receives for these services rendered and the actual cost
is $10 million, and has been for the past 4 years. MPTF has had to
subsidize a $20 million-a-year difference ($10 million for hospital
and long-term care, and an additional $10 million for all other
charity services). The gap for operating the hospital and
long-term care facility will grow significantly every year, which
would lead to a complete depletion of MPTF’s endowment and eventual
bankruptcy.

3. ALLEGATION: MPTF tax returns for 2006 and 2007 do not show a $10
million loss, or any losses at all.

TRUTH: As a non-profit, MPTF submits 990 tax forms, which show the
overall financial status of the organization but are not intended
to be a detailed indicator of operational performance. The $20
million gap was overshadowed in 2007 by two large, one-time gifts
and portfolio performance.

MPTF draws money out of its investment portfolio and uses
fundraising revenue to close the above-referenced $20 million gap
between operating/charity expenses and revenue. The trend is that
the $20 million gap is growing more rapidly than we can predictably
earn income and philanthropic support.

4. ALLEGATION: The opening of the Saban Center for Health and
Wellness seems inconsistent with an organization in trouble.

TRUTH: The services provided by The Saban Center are integral to
MPTF’s future ability to provide comprehensive care to thousands of
seniors in the industry. In addition to the utilization of the
fitness facility by campus residents, there are already more than
500 industry members regularly using the facility. The Saban
Center also gave MPTF the opportunity to consolidate overhead
expenses, which saves the organization more than $450,000 a year in
rent for office space that no longer needs to be leased.

5. ALLEGATION: Some of the residents feel tormented and are reluctant
to eat, and their impending move is causing their health to decline
and in some cases has resulted in their death.

TRUTH: This is untrue. While this decision is surely causing
stress among residents and their families, it has not resulted in
change in our usual experience of illnesses, physical ailments or
death. Because we know how stressful this is to those involved,
each resident being relocated has been assigned a team of
professionals to help ensure their physical and emotional comfort
during the transition.

6. ALLEGATION: Other hospitals are facing the same challenges, but
are not closing their long-term care units.

TRUTH: Many hospitals are closing entirely, and here in Southern California Providence St. Joseph, Hemet Valley and South Coast Medical Center have all recently announced the closures of their long-term care units.

For more than 86 years, the Motion Picture & Television Fund has served California’s entertainment community. It provides healthcare, independent and assisted living, memory care, retirement care, childcare, financial support and charitable social services with compassion and respect for the dignity of the whole person. MPTF is a leader in the development and implementation of services and programs for senior citizens. Charity has always remained at the heart of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. For more information about MPTF visit www.mptvfund.org.

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