The union representing employees at Fatima Hospital in North Providence has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against hospital officials for refusing to disclose details of the hospital’s latest accreditation review.
The complaint, filed March 27, alleges that Prospect CharterCare has refused requests by the United Nurses and Allied Professionals Union (UNAP) for documents related to its review last fall by The Joint Commission, a Washington-based nonprofit that accredits and certifies health care organizations.
The Joint Commission initially found 30 deficiencies at Fatima which had to be addressed prior to the hospital being reaccredited, according to Christopher Callaci, general counsel for UNAP.
Prospect hired an outside firm to conduct a survey in preparation for its accreditation review, Callaci said, in which surgical instruments at Fatima were found contaminated with foreign material, corroded, broken, bent and posing risks to patient safety.
“We’ve been trying to get information about what the deficiencies were because we believe that the employees, but more importantly the public, need to know what the deficiencies are,’’ Callaci said. “And, of course, the million dollar question in our view is: what are they hiding?”
Prospect Medical Holdings, the California-based parent of Prospect CharterCare, said in a statement Tuesday that UNAP is seeking “purely internal documents” and the company plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision. (A hearing is scheduled for July.) Prospect noted that Fatima was fully reaccredited in December 2017.
The dispute comes as Prospect is looking to expand in Rhode Island. The California for-profit hospital chain and Brown University announced plans last January to seek a rival bid for Rhode Island’s second-largest health system, Care New England.
Meanwhile, Care New England has said it continues to negotiate a sale to the Boston-based Partners HealthCare.