Commissioners to review TMH's Critical Access report

Memorial Hospital administration will outline possible options for revenue, construction of new facility

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By RYAN SHERIDAN
Daily Press writer
The Memorial Hospital (TMH) Administrator Randy Phelps, will be giving a report to the Moffat County Commissioners concerning the Critical Access System (CAS) on Monday.
TMH has been researching this designation as a possibility since August. The estimated revenue streams from this system could enable TMH to finance the construction of a new facility with little or no tax support.
In order to become a Critical Access facility, a hospital must meet certain requirements it must be a rural health care facility at least 35 miles from the nearest hospital, currently participate in Medicare, provide emergency room service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, meet minimum staff guidelines and have an annualized average length of stay of under four days and a maximum acute care inpatient census of 15 patients.
The 15-body cap on acute care patients is a possible issue with the size and composition of the community served by TMH. Early last year, TMH exceeded the census limit because of a flu epidemic this scenario and how it might be be handled in the future is still being researched. Other possible drawbacks are the necessity of forming a network agreement with another hospital to deal with overflow, and perceptions the community and staff could form of TMH because of the change to a Critical Access facility.
"The enhanced reimbursement [as a result of a CAS designation] goes a long way toward mitigating the possible tax burden on the community; maybe not all the burden, but that remains to be seen," Phelps said in an August presentation on Critical Access. "Balancing the net income stream opportunity against the risk of not being able to offer care to a member of the community is the crux of this decision."
If the Critical Access option was taken, the changeover would be relatively quick, mostly a matter of paperwork, according to Phelps. TMH could revert back to Acute Care status, its present designation, with a new facility without complication.
There would also be no restrictions on the services or equipment that could be added, or on physician recruitment, he said.
The Board of County Commissioners will be meeting on Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the Courthouse.
In other business, the board will:
Review the Taylor Minor Subdivision sketch/preliminary plat.
The proposed subdivision would be off of County Road 30/Round Bottom Road.
Receive an Administration report.
Hear the Museum's mineral report concerning resource rights and associated income the Museum of Northwest Colorado owns.
The roof gutter rebuild and Tree of Life program will also be discussed.
Visit the Moffat County Public Safety Center, and do a walk-through with Jim Robertson, project coordinator.
Enter into an executive session to discuss personnel issues.

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