The Quad-City Times editorial of July 16 about Strategic Behavioral Health (SBH) misses the point when you state, “(SBH) must still think there’s a need for more beds and money to be made. It’s an assertion that Genesis and UnityPoint reject.”
The opposition to SBH is based precisely on the fact that they think there is “money to be made.” No one disputes that. The point is that they will take that money out of the Quad-Cities and pay off their investors back in Memphis, Tennessee.
It stands to reason that a for-profit firm like SBH makes investment decisions based on the profit they can make. They are investing $20 million on the site in Bettendorf. They must think they can not only get that $20 million back (by focusing on the most lucrative cases), but make money beyond the $20 million.
Let’s say the private investors expect a 10 percent return (a conservative figure). We don’t know how much profit they expect to make because SBH has been unwilling to answer that question. At 10 percent, that is $2 million per year going from the Quad-Cities to Memphis.
That $2 million should be re-invested into health care in the Quad-Cities, which is exactly what the not-for-profit providers, Genesis or UnityPoint, would do. Would we take $2 million per year of our United Way funding and spend it in Memphis?
Dr. Dan R. Ebener