Volume 4, Number 7 - May 13, 2004
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RHCD coordinator recommended
The Sublette County Rural Health Care District Administrator Task Force Committee has completed its work and was slated to meet with the RHCD board Wednesday evening, May 12, to present its recommendations.
The core recommendations are:
• Continuation of the current private practice model of the clinics
The committee felt strongly that this arrangement works best for the citizens of the county; the county benefits by the quality of the medical professionals; and "current physicians will leave their practices in this county if required to be salaried employees" of the RHCD, the committee's report noted.
• A majority of the committee recommended that a full-time, qualified administrator should be hired, noting that the complexities of health care delivery and growth in the county have moved beyond the point of a volunteer board being able to adequately plan and be proactive.
• The committee suggests that the position be labeled as a coordinator rather than an administrator.
There was one committee member who disagreed about the administrator position. That member's minority report noted that health care in the county can be accommodated by an active and fully involved board and the duties and responsibilities haven't expanded or become so complex to warrant an administrator. This view contends that the physicians are the people responsible and able to provide health care in the county, with the board's role to distribute taxpayer money to that end. The administrator position has the potential to erode the current quality of health care in the county.
There are other reasons for not supporting the hiring of an administrator, according to the report, including that the board should be doing the job and that the current clerk's position is performing many of the board's roles and responsibilies without board oversight. The administrator would not held accountable as an elected official and hiring this position would increase overhead costs that would be better spent for direct patient needs, according to this view.
"As the board has already done, an administrator position could result in an environment of additional micromanagement over the emergency medical technicians and possibly add to the climate of conflict and distrust between the board and the medical directors," the report noted.
The report goes into what the committee viewed the role of the administrator would be in dealing with the clinics, other agencies, EMTs and the public. According to the report, the administrator "serves as point of contact for the public in communicating with the board,' and "addresses concerns of citizens and resolves issues within board policy," among other roles.
The administrator would facilitate communications and serve as a liaison between the operating physicians and the board, according to the report. The administrator would manage all non-medical aspects of the emergency medical services in the county as well.
The ideal candidate for the job would be someone with a master's degree in health services, with a minimum of five years experience in a medical environment, according to the report. The estimated base salary for the position is projected in the report to be between $50,000 and $75,000 with an additional 30 percent in costs such as benefits and expenses.
The administrator committee is composed of Dave Racich, Maxine Leckie, Judy Anderson, Robin Miley and Jay Anderson. See next week's Examiner for the board's reaction to the report's recommendations.
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