TMH getting less money from county

The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees approved a 2005 budget that reflects a decrease in contributions from Moffat County's general fund.

Three years ago, county funds contributed about $500,000 to the hospital's nonoperating costs, but that amount has been reduced to half of that for 2005 -- about 1 percent of the hospital's projected $17.8 million in expenses next year.

"People in the community think that the county supports the hospital, but it doesn't even support the indigent care that it's supposed to," TMH board member Sue Lyster said at a Tuesday meeting.

The Moffat County Care Clinic offers health care to indigent residents and is expected to cost the hospital almost $560,000 next year. The services were boosted by a $50,000 grant this year, but it's unclear whether grant will continue in upcoming years, Administrator Randy Phelps said.

Phelps said despite the relatively small Moffat County contribution, the current board isn't considering changing its relationship.

"We certainly always want to be not-for-profit," he said. "One scenario we are not considering but a future board may consider, is changing the hospital to a district so they can ask for a tax to help fund the new hospital."

TMH experienced healthy financial numbers for October, in part because of a whopping 83 visits by hunters to the emergency room, which is up 47 visits from last year, Phelps said.

The month's hunting-related accidents, injuries and illnesses were a $212,180 boon to hospital coffers compared to about a $61,000 last year.

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