Hospital sees profits, hopes to qualify for more HUD loans |

Hospital sees profits, hopes to qualify for more HUD loans

Collin Smith

— With increased profits during 2007, The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees believes it can receive more loans from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to build a new hospital west of town, meaning less of the burden to fund the construction will fall on taxpayers.

“A year ago, the hospital was losing money,” CEO George Rohrich said. “You can’t go to HUD when you are losing money and expect to get a loan. Now we can show that we’re making money to deserve the loans.”

In previous years, TMH had problems with patients wanting to receive care at Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs. TMH CFO Barry Bergman said this was because there were some doctors on staff who split time between the two facilities and would recommend patients to go to YVMC.

He now believes TMH has rebuilt trust with the community, and that is the reason profits are up.

“It is strictly because of the quality of care and the quality of the doctors here, particularly in our emergency room.” he said.

Trustee Don Myers raised is-sue at Wednesday’s board meeting, noting he hoped the hospital was not making so much money because of a decreased focus on staff and treatment.

Chief Clinical Officer Bob Lindberg assured Myers that is not the case.

“You haven’t gone out to purchase new equipment because you’re waiting to buy for the new building,” he said. “When you do buy that equipment, you will purchase more than all of the model hospitals you have looked at.”

Myers also was concerned that a proposal by Bergman to have the finance committee meet privately a week before public board meetings would have negative consequences for clinical care.

“I don’t want to see a finance committee veto some equipment that the board, as a representative of the community, sees as a community need because it may not make sense financially, but there is a need,” he said.

Bergman responded that all items discussed by the finance committee would be available to the board a week before the monthly meeting, and any item would be open to discussion.

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