Mayor Stoney asks for investigation after bombshell report on Bon Secours

Posted at 3:47 PM, Sep 27, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney shared a statement on Tuesday afternoon calling for an investigation into the use of a lucrative drug program by Bon Secours following an investigation from the New York Times over the weekend.

"We strive to build equity into everything we do, and expect organizations serving our community to share those values," Stoney said in a tweet.

Also included in Stoney's tweet was a full request for an investigation made to Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The story, which was initially reported by the New York Times on Saturday, cited many former and current employees of Richmond Community Hospital alleging its owner Bon Secours has slashed resources from the hospital over the years.

The article outlined diminishing support for Richmond Community came as Catholic-based Bon Secours utilized the hospital to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits through a lucrative drug program called 340B.

The law allows non-profit hospitals that avoid paying taxes, like Bon Secours, which serves low-income communities, to buy medication for half the cost while still billing patients and insurance companies close to full price.

The goal is to incentivize Bon Secours to use those savings to invest back into the facility and the disadvantaged area that it serves.

However, sources told the New York Times that much of the money saved through the program does not go toward those efforts as Richmond Community Hospital lacks basic tools and resources to treat patients.

Some healthcare workers said the circumstances have placed them in positions of not being able to care for patients in dire need properly.

CBS 6 Problem Solver Tyler Layne spoke with some Richmonders about the story on Monday. One woman, who said her family member relies on Bon Secours for infusions that are critical to that person's health, said the report "felt like a punch in the gut".

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine also commented on the story, saying that the Richmond Community Hospital is "an absolutely critical program," and "the thought that somebody might be using this program as a profit center as opposed to really helping people was very troubling."

"Free clinics, community health centers, many hospitals who provide care to the poor and folks who really need health care, they rely on this program to bring down the cost of prescription drugs for the most-needy communities in Virginia and throughout the country," Kaine said.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.



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