The Memorial Hospital pursuing status as accountable care organization

Andy Bockelman
The Memorial Hospital in Craig
Lauren Blair

At its regular monthly meeting Thursday night, the board of trustees for The Memorial Hospital:

• Approved, 7-0, medical staff privileges as presented by Chief of Staff Larry Kipe

• Changed the date of the July trustees meeting to July 9

• Approved, 7-0, the purchase of an electronic medical record for streamlining documentation with the hospital’s rehabilitation center

The purchase will cost about $77,000 altogether. TMH had budgeted $60,000 for the transaction and was able to use funds originally part of parking lot maintenance that came in under budget for the remainder, which was further lessened when the hospital received a $5,000 grant from the El Pomar Foundation.

Luke Geer, physical therapist, said he believes the equipment will be greatly beneficial to the department.

“We’ll be able to follow patient care better and improve the way we are documenting and sharing information with all the providers that are gracious enough to send us their patients,” he said.

• Heard an update from Beka Warren, chief quality officer, about the preparation for the implementation of ICD-10 for hospital coding

Warren said the upgrade has been a long time coming for American hospitals, which are required to use the international system for diagnoses of medical issues as of Oct. 1.

“It’s a lot more detailed,” she said of ICD-10.

• Heard a financial report from Tim Howard, interim chief financial officer, regarding April 2015

TMH had a net income of $113,000, with a positive $285,000 for the hospital itself and a $172,000 loss for TMH clinics, which he owed to a difference in no longer allocating hospital overheard to physician practices.

Howard also noted that outpatient volumes are up compared to previous years, including 33 percent more newborn babies, 38 percent more physical therapy treatments, 35 percent more clinic visits and 18 percent more emergency room visits.

• Approved, 7-0, a recommendation from John Rossfeld, Chief executive officer, that TMH officially become an “accountable care organization” through Western Healthcare Alliance

Rossfeld said ACOs are intended to focus on finding the best level of care for patients to cut down on the frequency of hospital visits where applicable and to better promote overall wellness and preventative health. The program includes a number of stipulations as well as incentives as part of the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s going to be a huge learning process, and that’s why the federal government is putting these funds out to help change that whole process and move it forward,” Rossfeld said.

• Heard a report from Quorum Health Resources representatives Gerald Parton and Wayne Scholz.

• Heard a report from John Rossfeld that included a presentation about physician recruitment by Jill Spencer, chief human resource officer

Jennifer Riley, chief of marketing and business development, also spoke about a group of 16 University of Colorado medical students visiting Moffat County next week, learning about health and other issues within a rural community, which includes tours of Craig Station and Trapper Mine.

“It’s a great opportunity from a marketing perspective for us to get these students here to see if rural living is for them,” Riley said.

In his report, Rossfeld also discussed details of TMH Medical Clinic on behalf of Director Terri Jourgensen, who was unable to attend, mentioning 80 student athletes from Moffat County School District receiving physical examinations for sports, as well as the fact that clinic numbers were at “an all-time high” in April, with more than 1,700 visits.

• Discussed a services agreement with the law firm of Brooks and Brooks, LLC.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or

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