Garfield County Public Hospital District commissioners are Jenness Evanson, Jim Maves, Ray Hoffman, Kris Darby and Vonni Mulroney. With all present Wednesday the board:
- QUALITY: Decided to view the Washington State Hospital Association video "Celebrating our Patient Safety Journey" at the next meeting.
- HUGS: Learned new HUGS Auxiliary officers are Karen Hill, first coordinator, Ruth Davis, second coordinator and Pat Richardson, secretary. Commissioners approved by consent.
- CLINIC: Learned a training is scheduled Tuesday from the new referral system Clarity. The training will include both clinic and business office staff members.
- FINANCE: Learned federal and state budget impacts to Critical Access Hospitals from HB 2130 remains a significant concern. Learned year-to-date revenues are on budget and expenditures are under budget by six percent. Cash flow is the main concern, as uncompensated care, Medicare and Medicaid contractual adjustments will continue to erode reserves until Medicare rates are adjusted to reflect new cost structure. It may take 12 to 18 months for the rates to stabilize.
- ELECTRONIC RECORDS: Discussed Electronic Health Record upgrade. Cerner Corporation is the preferred vendor, and staff is reviewing technical specifications with the company, negotiating a contract and identifying a funding source. Interim financing options are being sought from a number of potential lenders.
- LEVY: Discussed special 1-year $750,000 levy the board approved Dec. 30. If the levy does not pass the district may be forced to suspend operations, the board was told.
- CASH FLOW: Discussed cash flow strategies. District CEO Andrew Craigie told the board an update on the future of the hospital and long-term care was presented in an all-staff meeting Tuesday. The changes, including reducing the bed capacity, are intended to be temporary. Presently there are no plans to reduce staff because the organization "is already very lean and we cannot afford to lose anyone," Craigie said.