County’s sale of Pahrump Medical Center sparks interest, sparks controversy

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PAHRUMP – There isn’t much to see now, but some people have big plans for the closed Pahrump Medical Center.

Owned by Nye County at 1501 and 1503 E. Calvada Blvd. comprises two buildings and a total of approximately 17,000 square feet. In a community sorely lacking in professional medical services, it has the potential to be used productively.

And profitable use too.

At its November 2 meeting, the Nye County Commission voted to sell the property, valued at $ 1.8 million in July, in a sealed auction scheduled for December 7th.

Selling the property has been a favorite project and priority for Commissioner Leo Blundo, who at a June 2 board meeting spoke of the need to provide county residents with low-cost medical services. and at no cost, “where if you want a doctor you can see a doctor. That’s an admirable goal, of course.

At the same meeting, the committee heard from the CEO of Silver State Health Services Mark Miyaoka, who made it clear that his Las Vegas-based nonprofit was ready to expand to Pahrump. In February, Silver State was informed that she had received $ 4 million federal Grants to provide medical and behavioral health services to communities in need.

As Miyaoka described it, Silver State, in its partnership with Freedom Medical Group, operates several clinics serving the homeless, veterans, and the underinsured. “In association with Freedom Medical Group, we are doing a lot of good for the Las Vegas community,” said Miyaoka. “… We would like to come to Pahrump and offer our services to the community of Pahrump, and use some of these federal funds that have been allocated to us in the form of federal grants and federal resources. I just wanted to open this, that we are ready to come to Pahrump. All we would need is an installation to function.

By a remarkable coincidence, Nye County has an empty seat. The timing was almost too good to be true. It could also have been helped by the fact that Commissioner Blundo’s wife Melissa is associated with Silver State Health as ‘Nye County Regional Director’. In an interview with Pahrump KPVM TV channel, she denied being paid for her services.

Miyaoka’s generous offer to open an office at the Federally Qualified Healthcare Center in Pahrump is tempered by the fact that Silver State, despite his comments, already had office space in the community in the form of a “family medicine and health facility.” psychiatry ”located a stone’s throw away. from the front door of the Pahrump Medical Center.

Given the shadow that hangs over Silver State Health Services, one cannot fault Miyaoka for wanting people to forget about the past. This includes an unpleasant dispute in district court between former leaders and members of the association’s board of directors, a lawsuit that produced an affidavit from Silver State’s chief financial officer Tam Nguyen.

In August 2020, Nguyen was appointed CFO of Silver State. She had over 20 years of experience as a financial manager and CPA in for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare facilities in California, much of that time spent with Marketing Group Inc. In its review of internal accounting procedures at company, Nguyen uncovered not only a battle between Chairman of the Board Roosevelt Daymon and then CEO David Ryan Linden, but also a nonprofit riddled with mismanagement and suspicious spending of million dollars in Medicaid funding. His investigation was crippled by a lack of receipts, payroll records, basic accounting, bank records and contract information. And it didn’t help that a mandatory audit of the books wasn’t done.

“I focused on my tasks striving to achieve the goals to be achieved, but during my exam I noted several missing, incomplete and inaccurate elements essential to the process,” Nguyen wrote. “If it is not addressed or resolved, it would damage the organization’s audits as well as its financial viability. In addition, I was asked to provide a progress report of internal pre-audit to the finance committee of the Edge. The absence of this information or my inability to access it would make such a report impossible.

Nguyen ultimately determined that Silver State’s patient income of $ 7.8 million for 2019 was overstated by around $ 4 million.

The list of suspicious activity was long, but among the most mind-boggling discoveries was Silver State’s purchase of two Tesla automobiles, one funded for then-CEO Linden and the other for the former CEO. of operations and CFO Doug Self.

Among those who benefited from their Silver State officer status was Erica Williams, wife of board member Aaron Williams. Earlier this month, Aaron Williams was sentenced to 364 days and agreed to pay nearly $ 100,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit Medicaid fraud in a case being pursued by the prosecutor’s office. General of the State, Aaron Ford.

Nguyen was fired for her efforts.

Cleaning up the nonprofit, which relies heavily on federal funding, is a tall order. Is CEO Miyaoka up to the task?

In addition to his efforts in the medical society, last year Miyaoka was busy in United States bankruptcy court as an officer with Trident Holdings LLC, which operates at 5580 W. Desert Inn Road. This address, a 7,758-square-foot mansion with a seven-figure value, was previously owned by the late casino industry titan, Bill Bennett. The property has incurred millions of liens, according to bankruptcy court documents. While its mortgage was not repaid, Trident Holdings received in May 2020 an amount of $ 54,167 Paycheque Protection Loan officially for salary expenses.

Miyaoka, Rick Saga, and Robert Tanko are listed as borrowers on the Desert Inn property. Saga is associated with Silver State Health Services through 2965 Holdings LLC, according to the Nevada Secretary of State. Saga is also listed as a managing member of the aforementioned company Freedom Medical Group.

Saga has his own history in Pahrump as an officer at Nye Farm Tech, a licensed marijuana company. Nye Farm Tech and Saga in 2020 were investigated by the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board for making transfers of interests in the business without notifying state officials. Earlier this year, the company and Saga avoided a full disciplinary hearing after admitting to violating two Nevada Administrative Code regulations and agreeing to pay a $ 15,000 fine.

As if all that weren’t enough, current and former Silver State Health Services agents are being vetted by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the US Department of Health and Human Services and its Nevada counterpart, according to several sources. . The investigation generated subpoenas from the nonprofit by OIG lead counsel Michael R. Torrisi.

Like other controversies, this is the sort of thing the caregiver would likely like elected officials to forget as it expands into Nye County.

Whether this controversy is slowing the political wheels in Nye County, which are evolving in mysterious ways, remains unclear. But the chances of underserved county residents walking through the doors of Pahrump Medical Center soon appear to be growing.


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