– Lonnie Tibbetts, CEO, Cayman Islands National Insurance Company
“The Plaintiff Hospitals seek redress against CINICO for CINICO’s failure to pay the Plaintiff Hospitals the full amount owed for services rendered …”
– North Shore Medical Center et al v. CINICO, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
It appears that not only are CINICO’s creditors knocking on the door; they’re about ready to kick it down and carry away whatever they find inside.
The recent lawsuit filed on behalf of five Florida hospitals (whose legal arguments boil down to, “Those Caymanian deadbeats owe us money, and they know it.”) marks the third time CINICO has been sued in as many months for not paying its bills.
For decades, our public and private sectors have expended immense amounts of resources to craft, polish and project Cayman’s image as a preeminent hub for the world’s wealth and its wealthy. What our country can certainly afford to do is make good on its outstanding medical debts. What our country cannot afford is to allow CINICO to besmirch Cayman’s good name abroad.
The financial costs of the lawsuits are only of secondary consideration to the reputational costs.
Speaking generally, there are three reasons a person or entity can give for not paying a debt:
They won’t pay. (i.e., they are contesting the amount that is owed)
They can’t pay. (i.e., they don’t have the money)
They just … haven’t paid. (i.e., somewhere and somehow, somebody messed up the accounts payable process).
Of those three reasons, only the first could be considered a “legitimate” reason, as far as CINICO is concerned. That, however, does not seem to be the case in this instance, based on documents filed in court so far.
The second reason (not having the money) is not worthy of protracted consideration, given the amounts involved, in the context of CINICO’s annual budget and its access to public funds.
That leaves the third reason, which is the sorriest of all and represents a failure by CINICO to fulfill its fundamental mandate – to pay clients’ medical bills. Nevertheless, that was the excuse cited by Mr. Tibbetts back in November in regard to the two previous lawsuits. “Between July 2013 and December 2014, we managed to pay the majority of our claims, but unfortunately a number of claims fell through the cracks and today are the primary source of these actions,” he said, pinning the blame on the cancellation of CINICO’s contract in 2013 with U.S. claims and payment processor Simplifi, which, incidentally, is also suing CINICO.
Indeed, considering the multiple lawsuits in U.S. courts, and the drama that is still unfolding around the government’s CarePay contract, CINICO has made more headlines recently for its activity in the legal sphere than the healthcare arena. While paying doctors, nurses and hospitals can become very expensive very quickly, that’s nothing compared to the blizzardly accumulation of attorneys’ fees and ancillary damages.
And, we will add, unlike with medical professionals, the only person who feels better after paying a lawyer, is the lawyer.