TMH board set to discuss Quorum's future


The fate of The Memorial Hospital's relationship with Quorum Health Resources will be discussed at a special board meeting tonight.
The current six-year contract with the hospital's management company ends June 30.
Members of TMH's Board of Trustees will discuss a contract renewal during an executive session that will be closed to the public.
The contract being discussed is a limited-term contract that contains a clause providing TMH the opportunity to terminate the contract without cause at any time, according to Don Myers, the board's vice-chairman.
The board's decision will be made public at its regular meeting June 30, said Pam Thompson, TMH's community relations director.
Quorum provides TMH with two administrative employees -- Chief Executive Officer Randy Phelps and Chief Financial Officer Roger White.
The management company offers consulting services for administration, financial management, human resources, and the board of trustees.
The company is currently helping TMH develop a physician recruitment plan that includes an analysis of what types of physicians and specialists are needed and could be supported in Craig, Myers said.
Myers has been a board member since 1992. He recalled that TMH was in poor financial shape when Quorum was hired in 1987.
"When we first hired them, Quorum helped us get on our feet financially," Myers said.
Quorum helped TMH realize the benefits of converting to a critical access hospital, Thompson said. The federal "critical access" designation provides for higher Medicare reimbursements.
Also, the management company gives TMH buying power it otherwise would not have.
"We get a great rate on medical supplies because of the rapport Quorum builds with vendors," Thompson said.
Quorum manages about 250 hospitals across the country, including 11 in Colorado, Phelps said. The Colorado hospitals include facilities in Meeker, Kremmling, Glenwood Springs, Cortez and Montrose.
Rural hospitals are the company's specialty, Phelps said.
Phelps said TMH saves about $200,000 a year on supplies and capital equipment because it is a Quorum hospital.
TMH saved about $50,000 on a CT scanner, for instance. Also, Quorum helped TMH decide which mainframe computer to buy and aided in the transition.
Phelps has worked for Quorum at TMH since 1987.
White worked for TMH beginning in 1991. He started with Quorum in 1995.
Thompson said the intricacies of running a hospital require the oversight and consultation provided by a management company.
"I can't imagine not having a management company," Thompson said.
"I think it's very beneficial and almost necessary."

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