Rick Meserve, The Neenan Company project manager for the Moffat County School District, presents the floor plans for the new middle school Wednesday at the Moffat County School District Administration Building. Meserve and school district officials took questions from the audience. The plans for the new building are scheduled to go before the state for approval in April.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Rick Meserve, The Neenan Company project manager for the Moffat County School District, presents the floor plans for the new middle school Wednesday at the Moffat County School District Administration Building. Meserve and school district officials took questions from the audience. The plans for the new building are scheduled to go before the state for approval in April.

District unveils building plans

New Craig Middle School designs to go before state for approval next month

photo

Image by Neenan archistruction/courtesy of Moffat County School District

Key to new middle school layout: Blue: Classrooms Purple: Physical Education Light pink: Traffic areas Dark pink: Common areas Light pink: Storage/food service Dark gray: Existing facilities incorporated into new building Green: Library and media center Yellow: Faculty, staff and administration Note: Northern classroom wing is two-storied. The second floor will house seventh-grade students and the ground floor will contain eighth-grade students.

At a glance

New Craig middle school building

Estimated construction timeline: June 2008 through November 2009

• The new middle school building will be constructed where Craig Middle School currently stands.

• The building will be constructed around existing gym, auditorium and industrial arts facilities, which will remain intact.

• Four modular classrooms set up at the existing building's north end will house some seventh- and eighth-grade students during the 2008-09 school year.

• Students also will use parts of the existing building during the 2008-2009 school year.

— With a set of plans in hand, a building and design company selected by the Moffat County School District intends to start moving forward with construction on a new middle school this summer.

The project is scheduled to break ground June 2, said Rick Meserve, The Neenan Company archistructor and senior project manager. He estimated the project would be completed November 2009.

Meserve acts as the project manager for the district's capital construction project. He presented floor plans for the new middle school to community members during a Wednesday lunch meeting.

The gathering served as the last step in the design-and-build company's attempt to gather public input on the new middle school's design.

"We really want the community and the district to tell us what their needs are," Meserve said. "No design is a good design without knowing what the needs are."

The plans Meserve unveiled to the public were created partly from feedback from current Craig Middle School staff and faculty. They showed the basic layout, or "footprint," of the proposed building and included elements from student common areas to existing CMS facilties that will be incorporated in the design.

Neenan will send a more detailed set of plans to the state for permit approval next month, Meserve said, adding that the state's response to such requests usually takes eight weeks.

The company can begin taking bids from local construction subcontractors once it gains the state's consent.

Dave DeRose, Citizens for Moffat County Schools co-chair, was one of more than 15 community members who sat in on the meeting at the Moffat County School District Administration Building.

The group campaigned on behalf of the district's $29.5 million bond issue that voters passed last fall.

The plans he saw matched the organization's vision for a new middle school, he said, adding, "I'm happy (CMS staff) are happy with the design."

Penny Southwick, a 25-year Craig resident and mother of six students in Moffat County schools, also attended the meeting.

"This area is growing," she said. "I really feel we need to have good schools - not only academic-wise, but (also) facility-wise."

Southwick currently works for the district's transportation department.

Construction traffic along Ninth Street, which runs south of the school, could prove problematic, she said, especially during the winter months.

Still, she has faith that the new building will prove effective.

"I think (the design) will work if everyone does what they're supposed to," she said.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com

Comments

CindyLou 6 years, 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing with us the plans and information on the new buildings and changes that we will see in our schools. While it has been a hard pill to swallow with the taxes, it looks like our school district has everything in order to begin this project. I also appreciate the fact that the school disctrict provided the public with visual plans of their project last fall and have done such a great job communicating with the public. I wish all parties who have big plans with our tax dollars would do as good of a job communicating with the public as the school district has done.

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taxslave 6 years, 1 month ago

Have the "Bonds" been secured yet? If so, at what interest rate? Considering the state of the financial markets I surely hope the money for the project is "in the bag" first. The cost of this money should be made known to the tax payer.

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Globe 6 years, 1 month ago

CindyLou - I too appreciate any information. Has anyone even seen a picture of the new fire truck or hospital? How come the school district had plans for their project but the hospital still hasn't revealed anything yet? Does everyone realize that the hospital only made $28,000 for the whole year of 2007? They said last fall in the paper they were going to make a million bucks, but that was due to grants and gifts to build the hospital and won't be a regular thing. Their actual business of keeping people healthy only made $28,000. If you add up their proffits from the last 5 years I bet they still couldn't cover the cost of one years worth of payments on a building we have yet to see plans on.

Taxslave is talking interest rates and loans and I am sure the school district is working to get the best rate, but in these markets it's anyone's guess. How our hospital is going to get a loan when they don't make any money is beyond me. Thier debt to income ration would be 1,500 to 1 if they get a bond. When I first bought my business my debt to income was about 3 to 1 and my bank was sceptical about loaning me money. How is the hospital going to get one at 1,500 to 1? Atleast the school district is in decent financial shape.

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SamanthaJohnston 6 years, 1 month ago

CindyLou and Globe:

Thanks for your inquiries about when you might see something from the hospital with regard to the new hospital project.

Much as the school district has done, the hospital is nearing the final stages of the schematic design phase of the project. This is the phase where all of the offices, departments, etc. are placed into the hospital footprint and the layout of the hospital is planned. This has been a very intense project that has taken many months simply because there are so many departments, rooms, work flow patterns, security issues, etc. that must be worked through in order to maximize the space available for the project. Project architects will be in town next week to go through the final details of a plan that we think is the best one possible. At that point, we will begin the public meeting and input process and the public will have every opportunity to view the work that is being done. I appreciate your eagerness to see our project. I expect our public meetings to begin within the next three weeks.

The Memorial Hospital, architects and project manager met with HUD at the beginning of last week and received the go-ahead to submit the final HUD application. The HUD process requries a pre-application meeting so that the HUD representatives can ensure that the project is viable and something that they are willing to back before they entertain the final application and move to the contract phase. HUD was very enthusiastic about the project and the final application will be submitted within 30 days. I understand that the financing of the new hospital is of concern to many of you. Our finances are being scrutinized by our lender (InnoVative Captial), HUD's financial team and our auditors - they will be reviewed by three outside entities and I think you will find that TMH has developed a solid plan for how to make this project work.

If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask. I am available at my office (970) 826-3109 or by email at samantha.johnston@tmhcraig.org.

Samantha Johnston TMH, Service Excellence Officer

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CindyLou 6 years, 1 month ago

Sam,

This is the most information we have received in four months. Thank you very much for all of the information, it is very helpful.

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STANHATHHORN 6 years, 1 month ago

Samantha, You haven't addressed the profitability of TMH. I know that TMH booked a profit of about $1.9 million for 2007. But, we both know that actual profit from selling band-aids and other health care related products was only about $28,000. Most of the booked profit was from capital contributions and grants, money that should never been booked as income, it is an asset but is not operating profit! Please tell me that your auditors, lenders and HUD's financial team are not relying on TMH's apparent misrepresented financials to secure the loan. Better yet, give me a contact name or file number with HUD and I will ask them myself.

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Cole White 6 years, 1 month ago

Stan and Sam,

It seems like Stan says the hospital is doing one thing and Sam says they are doing another. I know the paper carried an artical that said the hospital only made a few thousand dollars last year from operations and I would think that number is the one that really counts. But what other money is the hospital calling income? Where did it come from? Is it somethings they will be getting every year? Sam has stated that consultants have said the a new hospital will bring in new revenue, but we haven't seen any documentation of that. Stan keeps saying that he has seen the financials and they are smoke and mirrors. Sam says that all is well and you have to just trust the hospital that they are being truthful. I will have to say though that Cindy Lou has me now asking why isn't the hospital giving the public who just gave them millions of dollars more information? A very detailed analysis of the hospital's financial position should be published in the news paper. It should be published by the paper every month. Why hasn't the paper been doing this already? I'm not talking about a small blurp, but a good, detailed description of where money is coming from and where it is going. Will we see this in the near future?

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taxslave 6 years, 1 month ago

Seriously people, everyone needs to stop counting chickens before the eggs are hatched. The US Economy is collapsing right before our eyes and inflation is at an all time high. The sub-prime mess has effected the whole country.

Things to note....both Kum & Go's still not finished. Walgreens not finished. Office across from theater not finished or occupied. Applejacks CLOSED, no property taxes there. Bad to the Bone not reopened yet. Empty homes all over Craig. Some new construction not finished. Tax revenue for Craig was FLAT last quarter. The economy of the US is not growing. Oil & gas development always leads to a bust. The regulations in the new Energy Bill has put a lid on coal fired power plants. No one is investing in anything because Congress keeps changing the rules of the game.

There are no doctors to move to Moffat county. We need to look overseas. The Feds defunded "Teaching Hospitals". Insurance costs and regulations turned people away from the profession. Costs of medical school no longer worth it. We'd be better off to rely on a nursing hospital or something on that line that would raise the nurses capacity to diagnose.

MediCare benefits are taking a major cut in new Fed. budget. If the hospital isn't making money now they never will. It's only going to get worse.

Gold is at a record high, it hit 988/oz this week. Stockmarket under 12,000 and falling. Banks loosing access to liguidity....teaser loans are gone for ever and the interest rates they are adjusting up. Over 1/2 of the homeowners in America are upside down now with their homes. I could go on and on.

What I read in the paper doesn't match reality. Neither does the vote for all these taxes. What I'm saying is I'll believe it when I see it. People I know are saying they are leaving the state this spring/summer to states with less or no taxes, WY, MT, AK. These people will be leaving Moffat County shortly. It all adds up.

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SamanthaJohnston 6 years, 1 month ago

Highway1340:

To be clear, I have never asked the public to "just trust" The Memorial Hospital. I would be remiss if I suggested that the public at large move forward blindly trusting any entity. If the public has questions, they should ask - without a doubt. It is our job to provide truthful answers.

I believe in this community and I believe in the projects that this community has supported. I am excited about the direction of Craig and I look forward to what it will become with responsible development and growth.

As a hospital official, it is sometimes very difficult to anticipate the questions that people have and what information is "good enough" and what needs more explanation.

I would urge anyone who has a true interest in financials to attend a board meeting (the board of directors meets the last Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Platinum Room of the VNA), or to contact myself or CFO Barry Bergman for a better understanding of the financial picture.

Two pieces for you to understand: yes, the hospital has received DOLA grant funding and other "misceallaneous" revenue items that have inflated the total bottom line. What you will see is that while the picture that is painted today looks rosy because of that, the pro forma for the new project doesn't show imaginary revenue in years to come.

The $28,000 number we are all talking about is nothing secret - it's the overall gain from operations. A year ago, we were negative $350,000. What that shows is that while $28,000 a year isn't enough on its own to make the payments, it's a marked improvement and we know our revenue will improve conservatively over the coming years.

For several years, TMH has been saving a minimum of $58,000 per month for the new hospital project. Beginning in 2008, the monthly amount was increased to $100,000. We have built some reserves for the project based on this alone.

The increase in revenue we're talking about isn't based on aggressive projections because we think we'll get more patients or provide more services with a new hospital - if that happens, it's a bonus. The increase is an increase in the Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement we are currently getting for the services we currently provide. So, the minute we move into a new hospital, we automatically get higher reimbursement for those two programs for the same exact services we are providing today. We certainly don't expect that we'll provide fewer services to the community, so we will capitalize on increased reimbursement for a similar patient volume.

In the coming weeks, the public will get the chance to view our projects and to see the direction we are heading and to provide input. The process of solid schematic design has been a long and tedious one because of the sheer number of rooms and complexity of the spaces that need to be developed.

Please look for the information forthcoming and don't hesitate to contact me with questions.

Samantha Johnston

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Joanna Hatten 6 years, 1 month ago

Ok Ms. Johnston...I have watched the whole evolution of the new hospital and not said anything....and yes I voted for the new hospital.

However, I think that one of the main concerns from the community as a whole is.......will a new hospital bring new and better doctors. I hope so because I for one am tired of driving to Steamboat to ensure that myself and my family gets quality care.

I could tell you multiple horror stories of care your hospital dished out...just from my family. If I were to include my extended family and friends, we would need a month to discuss it. Stories including surgeries given that weren't needed, broken bones ignored and diagnosed as sprains, wrong medications given, and horrible bed sided manners.

Your doctors could do alot themselves to help your public image. Letting patients who happen to come in the emergency room during a shift change wait 30 minutes for the next doctor is not a good way to get people to come back. And yes...this really happened. They were overheard saying it would be better if the patient could wait as the present doctor really needed to leave on time that night. I can assure you the patient used that 30 minutes to drive to Steamboat.

Any other business you frequent has to have quality customer service. Why should the hospital be any different? I am not talking about your CNA's or your Nurses because I truly believe they do the best they can with what they have to work with.

Anyone who reads the Daily Press can get a feel for how skeptical the community is just by comparing birth records....Steamboat vs. The Memorial Hospital.

If you truly want your community to stand behind you I suggest that you start with a series of compassion and ettiquette lessons for your exisisting doctors. Just because they have a higher education does not give them the right to shun good hard working people.

Good luck with your new hospital and start recruiting.

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jeff corriveau 6 years, 1 month ago

I wonder, outloud, if the hospital would have been successful in recruiting a new and very much needed OB/GYN if we had NOT decided to build a new hospital. Looks as if Samantha and the board were right on when the said that it would be much easier to recruit good new DOCS if we were moving towards the future. One has to wonder what other events will show that they gave us good information before the vote!

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STANHATHHORN 6 years, 1 month ago

Samantha, Before the election, you claimed that the 3 mill tax increase would pay for 40% of the total debt on the new hospital. The 3 mill tax will soon generate $l.5 million per year. Therefore, TMH must generate a profit of $2.25 million from hospital services for their 60% share of debt repayment. But, TMH operating profit for 2007 was only $28,000. TMH financials showed revenue of about $20.5 million for 2007. Profit on that revenue was barely 1/10 of one percent!! You said, "$28,000 a year isn't enough on its own to make the payments, it's a marked improvement". That's the understatement of the century! We all know that Medicare will provide enhanced revenue upon the completion of a new facility. We also know Medicare comprises about 35% of TMH revenue. I cannot fathom how $2 milllion more in profit can be generated from 35% of virtually nothing. In today's mortgage market, there are many well qualified citizens with near perfect credit scores, 25% down and are unable to obtain financing. When taxpayers are footing the bill, it is vastly different. TMH claims the new facility will cost about $27 million. The loan will be for more than $42 million! So, 55% of the value of the building will be spent for other than bricks and mortar. At lest $5 million will go to the lender "TO BUY DOWN THE RISK", (per a HUD Rep). So there you have it, a $42 million loan collateralized by a $27 million building! You said, "IT IS OUR JOB TO PROVIDE TRUTHFUL ANSWERS". I don't think you can make this scenario truthful!!

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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

Stan-Maybe "other than bricks and mortar" will be equipment to go in the new hospital. It takes alot more than "bricks and mortar" to make a hospital.

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STANHATHHORN 6 years, 1 month ago

grannyrett

Who in their right mind would amortize equipment, furniture and fixtures, and other short term needs over 30 years? All that equipment will be discarded at least 20-years before it is paid for!! BRILLIANT!

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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

Well Stan-I don't know everything. But, I do know it doesn't do anyone any good to sit around and gripe about everything. Sounds like sour grapes to me. But, that's just my opinion. Not to be confused by facts or anything else. Maybe it's interest on the loan. You're such a business man, you ought to be able to figure out how much a loan for $27 million will end up costing over the life of the loan. Good gosh-Look how much a car that is financed ends up costing. Would be nice if we could all pay cash for everything we need, but most people can't do that.

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STANHATHHORN 6 years, 1 month ago

Grannyrett, I don't think you understand, $27 million is the asset taxpayers will be left with. The loan amount on that asset is $42 million. The final cost after interest will be close to $90 million. I don't pay cash for my cars either.

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STANHATHHORN 6 years, 1 month ago

Samantha, You say "it is our job to provide truthful answers". But if you don't like the questions you simply ignore them. I have posed a myriad of relevant questions. You said that TMH is saving $100,000 per month toward the new facility, making it sound as if that money is from profits. We both know better, TMH is merely shifting money from their checking account to the building fund. That strategy will eventually result in not being able to pay bills on time. TMH had $145,000 in cash on 1/31/08 and bills to pay of $281,000. Imagine an entity with $20,500,000 in annual sales and a bank balance of $145,000, pitiful!!

 Are the financials you are using to induce HUD-FHA audited? Or do they still show grants and the $750,000 donation from CNCC as profit? Has TMH written-off the $448,716 that Poznet embezzled, or does some of that remain as a receivable to make the bottom line appear better? (Where was our DA on this matter?) Is TMH filing Medicare cost reports in a timely manner, and are they fairly representing Medicare contractual adjustments, or do they linger to enhance perceived profit?

 In your last post you compared a 2006 loss of $350,000 to the 2007 profit of $28,000 as an improvement. My financials from TMH show a 2006 loss of only $87,000. Is the difference due to a subsequent audit, contractual adjustment, or were you just trying to make something bad look better?

 It's time the concerned public was afforded some of those "truthful answers". Perhaps HUD-FHA can shed some light if you won't.
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SamanthaJohnston 6 years, 1 month ago

Stan:

During the mill levy campaign, I discontinued to answer your questions because it became overly apparent to me that no matter what I say, I am not credible to you. You pointed out my past career as a journalist and you pointed out that you think I lack integrity. I don't intend to continue the same useless banter on this forum where I answer your questions and you call me a liar. I am not certain why you continue to ask me questions if you don't believe I'll give you a truthful answer.

If your intent is to post questions that you want people to think about, or to encourage them to believe that we are misleading the public, then I would suggest that you post the questions in that format instead of directed at me, as I don't intend to answer them here.

What I would be most agreeable to is a face-to-face meeting, workshop, whatever it takes to go through this information in detail and to get to the root of the issues that you have. Then you can share the results on the forum with the public however you choose. The questions that you pose here are far beyond a simple yes or no answer and require extensive history and knowledge of our finances. To simply post a figure here in response to what you say won't satisfy anyone but you. So, let's just meet face-to-face. I'll even buy the coffee - with my own money of course.

I am certain that InnoVative Captial, HUD, the feasibilty auditors - anyone in the list of those versed in our finances would be more than happy to shed whatever light you need. If you contact me, I can provide telelphone numbers if you do not already have them.

If you would like to meet with me, I'm available at your convenience. I will be more than happy to post our meeting time and date to those who read your questions on this forum as well if they care to join the conversation and understand the financials at the level that you do.

Sam

Samantha Johnston TMH, Service Excellence Officer (970) 826-3109 samantha.johnston@tmhcraig.org

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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

Native-Well said! Don't matter to Stan though. Some people won't be happy no matter what you do. Don't let him get you down Sam. We appreciate all you do and are really glad you quit rising to the bait. You are right. If Stan wants the answers so bad, let him go get them. You have a lot more patience than I do. The people voted and they want a new hospital. Get over it Stan.

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Globe 6 years, 1 month ago

I think Stan, taxpayer, and oldsage have an idea of what progress is and what progress means to Craig. But Stan does have some valid points. All Naive keeps talking about is what we need and why we need it. No one is doubting that we need a new hospital, because the current one is out of date. What Native and Granny don't seem to understand is the fact that Stan is raising questions and concerns over building a project that we can't afford. Sam keeps saying that consultants have reviewed the hospital's books and told the hospital what they want to hear. If the consultants had told the hospital they couldn't afford a new hospital, the hospital would have just found new consultants that would tell them they could afford it. How many people have had lending institutions, underwriters, and title companies tell them they could not afford the house they wanted to buy? Most people who are set on buying a house will find the lender that will tell them "yes" regardless of whether they can afford it or not. What results is one of the nation's largest default rate on home loans in our nation's history. As Stan pointed out, most of the consultants and individuals working on this project, work for the company that manages our hospital. These are individuals who will make money if the hospital is built and won't if it isn't. Reading these posts, I see Stan asks a lot of questions, but the answer is always the same. Sam says it's too complicated to answer in this forum and they would be more than happy to answer his questions behind closed doors. GIve us a report that shows what the hospital is making and how they will pay for it. Don't tell us we won't understand just because it is complicated. Many of the people in this community like myself work in banking., . Many others work in finance, insurance, accounting, business, and state and local government. We not only have the capacity to understand, the hospital should be asking the community for more input. While this explanation that it is too complicated for us to understand is sufficient for most, many employees in the hospital have made it clear that those keeping the books at the hospital have very little experience in these matters them self.

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Globe 6 years, 1 month ago

While I want to see a new hospital built here, I want more than just special interest groups and people with no experience telling me we can afford something of this magnitude when we can't even make a profit of 30,000 dollars. It's like taking a college kid with a law degree and telling him he can make 250,000 a year and then approving a loan for a 5,000,000. Sure he may be a Harvard grad at the top of his class or he may be just the average Joe. Don't sell me what his potential is, because while many new lawyers can make 250,000 a year, most make only 1/5 that. Sell that guy a 5,000,000 house and he will be bankrupt within a few months.

While I am not a math wiz, I did read in this morning's paper that Yampa Valley Medical Center released their report on 2007 to the residents of Craig (just a couple months after the year ended). While we haven't seen anything from our own hospital, a hospital 50 miles away thinks enough of its patients from Moffat county to explain to them how things are going in their hospital. This report shows about a 6% bottom line and explains pretty well where the money is coming from and where it is going. In all the years I've lived in this community I have never seen anything from our own hospital that is half as complete as this flier from Yampa Valley Medical. HIghway1340 asks for more documented information to the public and Sam says to give them a call and they will give us anything we ask for. Stan says he has asked for stuff from the CFO and was told no by him because that legally the hospital doesn't have to provide him anything. I see consistancy being a problem. Sam says the hospital lost 350,000 dollars in 2006 and Stan says that the financials say they only lost 87,000 (So which is it?). The hospital has been saying they have improved by almost 400,000 and Stans says the reports only show a 100,000 improvement. The 100,000 swing, while not bad, only shows an improvement of .004 on a profit margin of only .001 which is about 50 times worse than Yampa Valley's profit margin they reported in their report.

Too much fluff is given out as information and not enough substance for my liking. We approved as a community a very big mill levy for this hospital. All we ask for is real information and some accountability.

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SamanthaJohnston 6 years, 1 month ago

Globe:

The TMH annual report is scheduled for release next month. You will receive a publication similar to what you are referencing from YVMC. We waited until April this year so that we could include some information about the new project that won't be avaible for another couple of weeks.

TMH produces an annual report each year - you may have missed it last year. I have copies if you'd like any past editions.

I will post on this forum the day that the report is printed to ensure that everyone here knows where and when to find it.

Thanks, Sam

Samantha Johnston TMH, Service Excellence Officer (970) 826-3109 samantha.johnston@tmhcraig.org

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STANHATHHORN 6 years, 1 month ago

To Whom It May Concern: This post is not directed to Samantha, Service Excellence Officer, The Memorial Hospital, Craig, Colo. Moffat County, United States of America. I still do not expect a response.

For the record, I don't care if a new hospital is built or not. But, the fact remains that we probably can't afford the payments. Below is a tabulation of the last five years' operational results. This is the same tabulation that was printed in my letter to the editor before the election, only the CDP edited out the parentheses so as to make all the numbers positive, as well as all the punch lines in the narrative. A fair and balanced newspaper!! The CDP is the entity that should be asking all the questions I have posed, not me.

2003- ($404,597) 2004- ($203,840) 2005- $283,101 2006- ($87,329) 2007- $28,000 The five year average is a negative, or loss of ($76,933). I know that wouldn't inspire my banker.

 It was said that my questions require lengthy explanations. Look at my last post, virtually everything can be answered yes or no. Free coffee or lunch won't change the basic question or answers. I have always held that everyone has their price, mine is much higher than your offer, and in fact has never been met. Besides, I already know the answers to all the questions I have posed. As I have said before, I want the public to be aware of what TMH refuses to answer. Apparently it is easier to feign being offended and refuse to answer any pertinent questions.
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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

native-You are so right. It makes me tired to hear all the negative comments of Mr Hathhorne. I don't know what the answers are, but I trust Sam. It just seems to wear me down to hear the same questions over and over and over. Please, Stan, if you know the answers, then quit asking the questions, and post the answers. Otherwise, you are just tiresome.

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Cole White 6 years, 1 month ago

I find this interesting. I was on open thread that talks about tainted food from China and how our local Wal-Mart buys food products from China. One of the posts is from Native who regularly talks about how important our community is and how important our hospital is and it is worth building at any cost to support our community. He posts though that he doesn't by from one of the local butchers because of the cost as compared to what he can pay by buying his meat from a company that sends all of its profits out of county (City Market). He says "I suppose I could call them (MT Meats) up and get the info I need but I like asking all of you, what do you think? Taste, PRICE, quality? I buy meat from City Market exclusively and have since it was built. I would like to buy local beef however and am curious of things like, COST,..." Way to be consistant in your approach to community support Native. :)

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taxslave 6 years, 1 month ago

If you don't know yet, Medicare Advantage is out of federal 09 budget. Medicare is being cut back dramatically. Again, don't count chickens...

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CindyLou 6 years, 1 month ago

Taxslave, The hospital keeps saying that they are going to get paid even more from Medicare. How is Medicare going to pay every small hospital who builds a new building more money if they are making cutbacks? Does anyone know anything about this "more money" set up that they keep talking about? I can't seem to find it on the internet. I know almost every little town in the west is building a new hospital lately. When Medicare cuts way back how will they make their payment? Did Yampa Valley get more money from Medicare when they built a new hospital and if so how much? How will Medicare cutbacks effect this hospital?

Now we here that Native, who seems to have a lot of insight into the hospital, is saying that the hospital is drilling us on price. I know that you can get an MRI in Denver for about half the money, so is the hospital raising their prices as Native says to offset Medicare cutbacks?

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STANHATHHORN 6 years, 1 month ago

CindyLou

 Hospitals that are designated as "Critical Access Status" are allowed to add certain expenses to their Medicare reimbursements. There are stipulations to the Critical Access Status", such as number of beds, etc. If TMH patient numbers increased dramatically, they could be in a position where they have to turn away patients, or rescind CAS and forfeit the extra money afforded by CAS. The crux of the CAS is that depreciation on a new building can be charged as a direct expense to Medicare, thus increasing revenue. Randy Phelps claimed for years that CAS would net $1million, annually. The present regime won't make any claim in spite of repeated questions. You can be reasonably certain that twice that amount won't be enough.
  Let's look at this another way, TMH net sales are about $20 million, Medicare represents about 35% or $7 million. It's doubtful that TMH could charge off more than $1.5 million in depreciation annually, based on a 20-year life. You can apply only 35% of that depreciation to Medicare chargeback. 
 As for your question about Yampa Valley Medical Center, their facility is much too large to qualify for CAS. But they don't need it, YVMC was built largely through profits, there was never a mill levy or government handouts that may be gone tomorrow. They have a solid base of business a good reputation, making their payments and are still profitable. What are they doing differently?
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taxslave 6 years, 1 month ago

Money paid my MediCare is taxpayer money. Governments have no money. They only have what they take from the taxpaer.

Also, Muni funds have collapsed, that's Municipal funding we're talking about here. We'll have to stand by and see if they can even get funding anymore. The cost of money is going through the roof.

One can not expect to find a mortgage anymore without 25% down and an interest rate not less than 8%.

I'm telling you folks, it's getting really ugly out there. Google and watch the video on youtube, "Tent City in Ontario California".

Our leaders need to wakeup and smell the coffee. Especially those that want to spend money. What WAS a year ago, IS NOT anymore.

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