TMH to purchase CT scanner

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Deeming it "cost-effective," The Memorial Hospital board of trustees unanimously approved Wednesday purchasing a computed tomography scanner rather than continuing to lease the machine.

Technicians use CT scanners, a commonly used medical tool that employs special X-ray equipment, to obtain images from different angles around the body. A computer then processes the information. The machines are often used to analyze tissue and to diagnose cancer.

• Approved, 7-0, upgrading the hospital lobby elevator for a cost of no more than $55,000.

• Approved, 7-0, renewal of directors/officers employment practice liability insurance.

• Approved, 7-0, renewal of insurance for ambulance and ambulance equipment.

• Approved, 7-0, authorizing the chief executive officer and chief financial officer to maintain operating cash and short-term investments at less than $900,000 and to transfer funds in excess of $900,000 to the restricted new hospital accounts.

• Approved, 5-2, paying a $17,020 invoice to Diversified Consulting Solutions for consulting services for the proposed hospital site at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Board members Corrie Scott and vice-chairman Melton Sullivan voted against paying the invoice.

• Approved, 7-0, approving medical staff privileges.

The board agreed to purchase the CT scanner for $79,000 from Pennsylvania-based Philips Medical Capital. The company reduced its initial offer of selling the CT scanner for $150,000.

TMH Chief Financial Officer Roger White told Philips Medical Capital in a letter that the $150,000 asking price was well above market value.

Hospital officials said they could use the existing CT scanner, which has been leased since 2000, for another year or two. They will replace the CT scanner when the new hospital facility is built.

Buying the machine outright was deemed cheaper than the other options considered by the board -- renewing the lease for a month-to-month rate of $8,904 or renewing the lease for another year at a reduced rate of $5,000.

Board members said they would evaluate newer CT scanners as they become available on the market.

TMH is the only provider of CT services in Craig, hospital officials said.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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