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Patient visits at Steamboat clinic rise for MRH

The site of the Steamboat Springs Rapid Care in Curve Plaza.
Eleanor C. Hasenbeck/staff

Flu season and the holidays played a factor in Memorial Regional Health seeing a rise in patient visits to the Steamboat Springs specialty clinics to close 2019 and open 2020.

According to MRH Vice President of Operations Jennifer Riley, the clinics saw on average 17 patients a day from Dec. 23 to 31, and then held at that roughly 12 patients a day from Jan. 2 to 10. The highest number of patients at the clinic in one day during that time frame was 30 patient visits. Prior to the end of the month numbers, the Steamboat clinics averaged roughly nine patient visits per day.

“That was a pretty remarkable uptick, especially in Steamboat,” Riley said during Thursday’s MRH Board of Trustees meeting. “I think a couple things are helping: it is flu season; more people are sick and are wanting care. But it’s also ski season. We are seeing lots of people coming in that are wanting care, so that’s been helpful.”

In Craig, the Rapid Care clinic held at 31 patients per day in December, which was right around the average for the year.

From a prescriptions standpoint, Kyle Miller, the vice president of clinical support services, said that the new pharmacy options are seeing gradual rise in service in Steamboat Springs as well.

“The pharmacy volumes are growing about 100 prescriptions per month,” Miller said. “October was the first month that we were open there and we had about 100 prescriptions filled then. November, we were up to 200 or so. In December, we were right around 300 prescriptions filled.

“One thing we’re working towards is, we just got a major contract filled with Express Scripts, but we are waiting on two other contracts at this time.”

In Craig, the pharmacy has about 2,000 prescriptions filled per month.

The increase in patient views and filled prescriptions in Steamboat Springs played a role in MRH having one its best revenue months of 2019, according to Chief Financial Officer Sam Radke.

According to the Dec. 2019 financial report, MRH brought in $9.626 million in revenue, up from the $8.5 million generated in Nov. 2019. That number helped push the days cash on hand figure from 2.0 in November, up to 3.2. For a Critical Access Hospital, the average days cash on hand is 91 days.

MRH generated $9.798 million in revenue in January 2019, and $9.613 million in revenue in May 2019. At that time of revenue generation, MRH had 31 days of cash on hand in each month.

Radke said in his financial report that the final phases of management’s action plan was implemented the first full week of January, regarding daily savings to reach the goal of $850,000 in savings per month.

Board elects new chairman

Following the resignation of Memorial Regional Health’s Board of Trustees Chairwoman Cathrine Blevins, the BOT needed a new chairman moving forward in 2020.

On Thursday night the Board of Trustees voted Kelly Hepworth into the chairman’s role by unanimous vote. Vice Chairman Alman Nicodemus remains in his seat until the February meeting, in which he’ll give up his seat to new board appointee Denise Arola. In the February meeting, MRH’s BOT will need to elect a new vice chairman.

Daniels’ contract situation

At the end of Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting, MRH’s board needed to make a decision on Chief Executive Officer Andy Daniels’ contract.

With the recent agreement with SCL Health moving forward, the board decided to move into a holding pattern with Daniels and his contract, keeping the CEO – who is in his fourth year in the position – on board through the letter of intent phase.

Kelly Hepworth made a motion to move into a retention agreement with Daniels through the due diligence period with SCL Health. The agreement allows Daniels to continue to take part in the negotiation process with SCL Health.


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