Pedro Espada Continues Fight to Keep Bronx Clinics Open

December 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Pedro Espada, Jr. File photo by Jeanmarie Evelly.

Pedro Espada, Jr., is facing another legal battle this morning. According to a press release sent last night by his Soundview Healthcare Network, a judge today will once again weigh whether or not to allow the former state senator’s health clinics to continue participating in the state’s Medicaid program.

According to the statement, Espada and workers from his Soundview Health Care Network planned to rally outside the Bronx County Courthouse early this morning, before a hearing scheduled for 9:45 a.m. that would decide the clinics’ future.

Soundview was banned from the state’s Medicaid program this summer, after the Department of Health and the State’s Office of the Medicaid Inspector General deemed that the clinics had failed to comply with Medicaid oversight laws. Soundview, which includes five health centers across the Bronx, serves primarily Medicaid patients and would likely close if it were cut off from the program.

Soundview was granted a stay by a judge back in August, allowing the clinics to temporarily continue accepting Medicaid reimbursement funds; at a hearing last month, another judge asked the state and Soundview to try and negotiate a deal that would keep the health centers open.

Espada, who serves as Soundview CEO,  and his son, Pedro Gautier Espada, were barred from participating in the Medicaid program last year. Both men are facing trial on federal charges that they embezzled more than $500,000 from nonprofit clinics, spending the money on luxury car payments and exorbitant sushi restaurant tabs.

According to a statement from the organization, more than 20,000 patients use Soundview’s health clinics each year.

“Soundview, its employees and patients maintain insufferable harm would result in the termination of Soundview from the Medicaid program,” the press release read.

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