From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 38 - December 15, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

DOH checking into clinics

by Cat Urbigkit

The Wyoming Department of Health is checking into whether the Sublette County Rural Health Care District is operating the medical clinics in the county and should be under the authority of DOH licensing.

DOH State Licensing Agent Jean McLean confirmed Tuesday that her office has received a great deal of concerned calls from the local community about how the RHCD is conducting its business, and that the RHCD has changed from contracting health services with private providers leasing the clinics to the RHCD actually operating the clinics.

McLean said, "a lot of people have expressed concern," and the DOH is now looking into the matter.

"We have been studying this," McLean said, and have decided that the first step will be sending letters to the RHCD in an attempt to learn what services are being provided by the district's clinics. Only by gaining that knowledge will the DOH be able to determine if the district is operatin gone or more "health care" facilities as defined by state statute.

State law provides, "No person shall establish any health-care facility in this state without a valid license issued pursuant to this act."

"Health-care facility" is defined to include a list of medical units, including a "hospital," which is defined as "an institution or a unit in an institution providing one (1) or more of the following to patients by or under the supervision of an organized medical staff:

(A) Diagnostic and therapeutic services for medical diagnosis, treatment and care of injured, disabled or sick persons;

(B) Rehabilitation services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled or sick persons;

(C) Acute care;

(D) Psychiatric care;

(E) Swing beds."

"It sounds like something we should look into," McLean said of Sublette County's situation. While the state doesn't regulate private practices, publicly operated health care facilities must be licensed by the state.

"If they don't come to us, we have to go to them," McLean said.

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