Hospital continues to look at critical access designation

By JOSH NICHOLS
Daily Press writer
Several items, including the decision to become a critical access hospital, considerations for the 2002 budget and an educational presentation by a strategic quality management consultant, are on the agenda for The Memorial Hospital board of trustees meeting Wednesday night.
Hospital administrator Randy Phelps said it is the board's decision, but a likely one that a vote will be taken on whether to become a critical access hospital.
A critical access hospital is a classification for rural hospitals making them eligible for additional federal funding in the form of cost-based reimbursement for Medicare patients.
Twelve other rural hospitals in Colorado have converted to critical access, and a conversion by TMH would result in more than $1 million in additional revenue for the hospital each year.
The hospital staff recently voted to approve the conversion, and a public meeting was also held to address questions in the community.
"The board will probably take a vote," said Chuck Sis, board of trustee vice chair. "Personally, I think it is the way we need to go."
Sis will also give a joint conference committee report including the proposed purchase of a $28,000 replacement EEG machine.
The current EEG machine was manufactured by TECA, which went out of business in 1999.
Because the company went out of business, replacement parts for the EEG machine are not available.
In other business, B.J. Ivey, the strategic quality management consultant with Quorum Health Resources, will give a special educational presentation entitled "The Power of Shared Vision."
"This goes back to the continuous quality improvement initiative," Phelps said. "It's about the importance of having a shared vision for the future at any organization."
At the last two board meetings, community members have been allowed time to address their concerns in regard to plans for a new hospital.
Phelps said no one has called saying they want to speak at the meeting, but said the board is willing to address any questions people might have Wednesday night.
Other items on Wednesday night's agenda include:
A clinical key result area update by Beka Warren, patient care planner.
A community wellness and public relations report by Pam Thompson, community relations director.
Consideration of operating budget plan for 2002.
Consideration of capital budget plan for 2002.
Consideration of proposal for lease financing for CPSI Computer Software and related hardware.

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