From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 6 - May 9, 2002
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Bousman critical of increase

Bousman critical of increase

In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Rural Health Care District board member Walt Bousman was critical of the proposed $2,000 a month increase in the physician’s contracts.

Bousman posed an example: Dr. David Burnett’s clinic receives 600 to 800 patient visits per month. At a hypothetical $70 per visit, this totals $49,000 per month or $588,000 per year, which Bousman called the "approximate gross revenue" for the clinic. Bousman then subtracted $300,000 for labor costs, and $50,000 for soft goods.

"That gives you the net revenue that goes to the physicians," Bousman said, noting the amount would total $238,000 in his example.

"So do they need another $220,000 per year?" Bousman asked. "I have to say the subsidy is not needed until those numbers are proven wrong."

Each of the county’s two contracting physicians are currently paid $18,5000 per month, or $220,000 a year, to operate the clinics and provide 24-hour emergency care. At Monday night’s RHCD board meeting in Daniel, Burnett proposed a $2,000 per month increase in the contract amount, to $20,500 per month ($246,000).

Bousman said the physicians are given free use of the clinic buildings, equipment and receive a pool of patients.

At Monday’s meeting, Burnett said the district’s pay increase to its emergency medical technicians prompted him to increase on-call pay for his nursing staff. But Bousman said this "is no reason to turn around and make the board feel an obligation to change the contract and increase the subsidy. It’s two separate businesses.

"As the population of the county increases, shouldn’t the amount of the subsidy decrease?" Bousman questioned.

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