From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 4 - April 22, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

RHCD: New tactic for physician contract negotiations

by Cat Urbigkit

The Sublette County Rural Health Care District Board held a special meeting Tuesday night in Marbleton to begin budget discussions, with the focus on physician contracts.

Soon after the meeting was called to order, the board adjourned into executive session with Dr. David Burnett of the Marbleton-Big Piney Clinic and Dr. Judy Boyle of the Pinedale Medical Clinic. After an hour of closed-door discussions, the board came back into open session with a new idea for contract negotiations.

Chairman Walt Bousman said if the physicians would allow, the board would like to use a third party to confer with the physicians and provide information to the board to help them make a decision on the monetary value of the physician contracts. Bousman said the board would like this third party to be an accountant. The third party would be able to review private financial information held by the physicians, and configure the information in a more public form for board members to consider. Bousman said the use of a third party could be "a possible avenue to alleviate tensions" between the parties.

Both Burnett and Boyle agreed they would be amenable to such a concept. The board then proceeded to appoint board members Bill Barney and Jerry Jensen to a committee with the charge of finding the appropriate accountant.

Burnett broached the subject of the need for paid emergency medical technicians for the Big Piney Emergency Medical Service, since the service has become short on volunteers to cover all the shifts. Burnett suggested the service needs three full-time paid EMTs.

Burnett said he had promised the board a few months ago to use clinic personnel for EMT calls. That has come to be, he said, noting that he has had to pull personnel out of the clinic to fulfill EMT duties. The board agreed to put the EMT item on the agenda for its next meeting.

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