Memorial Regional Health to request approval to sell dirt lot, wins $200K grant
CRAIG — The Memorial Regional Health Board of Trustees made a series of bold decisions during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Most notably, board members decided to affiliate the local medical system with SCL Health St. Mary’s Regional Health System. In a deal described by MRH CEO Andy Daniels as having “no strings attached,” the local system will remain independently managed and governed while gaining the option to leverage the greater buying power and reach of the SCL Health St. Mary’s system.
The announcement of the decision was made during a joint news conference held Friday morning in Craig.
At its meeting, the board also decided to transition to Epic — an electronic medical records system — by leveraging the new affiliation with SCL Health St. Mary’s. This is expected to result in a savings of about $5 million over five years, as compared to the purchase of other EMR systems.
Trustees also unanimously approved the 2018-19 organizational goals, as well as a request to the Moffat County commissioners for approval to sell a dirt parking lot near the old hospital on Russell Street. If approved by commissioners, Daniels intends to offer the property to Northwest Colorado Health first.
In addition, trustees approved a resolution needed to keep a trauma designation and OK’d just over $120,000 to have the northwest parking lot near the new Medical Office Building paved before winter, using proceeds from the sale of a house the board owned near the Russell Street facility.
Another big decision was the approval of a $2 million dollar unsecured line of credit from the Bank of San Juans, which will be used if end-of-year revenues do not meet the amount required to guarantee the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan used to finance the new Medical Office Building.
“I want to have this in place, in case we need it.” Daniels said.
The board also adopted a consent agenda with meeting minutes and a consent agenda approving equipment purchases recommended by the finance committee. Before approving the more-than $500,000 expenditure for spinal operating room equipment, trustees asked about the scope of equipment, as well as how long it might take to pay it off. Nurse Amy Peck said the equipment included specialty instrumentation, and Daniels added he expects about 10 surgeries would see a return on the investment.
The board also approved medical staff privileges and clinical privileges for a licensed clinical social worker and pediatric pulmonary disease specialist, a move recommended by providers.
During staff reports, the board learned that MRH had a very good month in August with a baby boom — 19 babies, one more than the record — and a record number of surgeries, at 160. Patient visitations at the clinic in Dinosaur were low, but visits to the Rapid Care were good, said CFO Kelsey Henry.
During Daniels’ monthly report, trustees learned that MRH grant writer Ryan Lucas had secured a $200,000 Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Planning Grant for Moffat County. They also learned that the Home Health and Hospice program qualified for accreditation, which should happen as soon as the accreditation body sends an official to Craig to complete the process.
At the end of the meeting, the board convened an executive sessions to review personnel matters, including a review of the terms of physician contracts, which were approved following the executive session.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
Health care premiums are dropping for the first time in a long time, and for the individual marketplace on the Western Slope, premiums are going down dramatically.