From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 6, Number 14 - June 29, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

RHCB hears Pinedale clinic update

by Bill Boender

The Sublette County Rural Health Care Board met in Marbleton Monday, June 26, with Walt Bousman absent. The meeting began with an update of Pinedale clinic status by Director Randy Johnson, who advised that they are 90 percent on track to complete the task list so that there will be a smooth transition to board operation.

Only one physician applicant for Pinedale has come forward to date. Johnson asked the board to approve a $70,000 budget to have a professional search firm locate suitable applicants. After brief discussion, this request was approved.

Regarding the new position of clinic director, Johnson advised that there are some 40 applicants with many good prospects. The selection committee will review and select top candidates for interviews and offers. With the planned departure of Nora Farrand on Aug. 31, it was suggested that they might hire two people from the applicant list.

The board adopted a clinic financial policy to address patient payment rules. All new or out-of-county patients will be required to pay for services when received and any insurance coverage will then be paid direct to the patient and not the clinic. Board Member Garry Eiden expressed concerns that patients might be turned away and asked for assurance that it would not happen.

The Sand Draw facility moved closer to reality, with verbal commitments from three of the four contractor participants committing $250,000 each to the project. Ultra Resources has offered to provide an immediate $25,000 to allow placement of an order for a new ambulance for that facility. The board was asked to place an order for this new ambulance, which is much larger than existing units and would carry much more equipment. Cost would exceed that of current units by some $100,000.

Board Chairman Jerry Jensen expressed concerns that this would prevent rotation of units with others in the fleet and would add duties that should be left to fire units and search and rescue operations. The board agreed to commit to the purchase of a new unit but will take time to further review how it will be equipped.

In other business, bids for services were opened and awarded. Generator servicing, building maintenance and radio services will remain with the current contractors as there were no competing bidders. Newspaper notices will be published in the Sublette Examiner, which offered the lowest cost per column inch.

A scheduled visit by Wyoming Range Medical to discuss clinic privileges was cancelled again. Board members speculated that they may be waiting for the election outcome in November to see if there are new board members who may be more receptive to that action.

The annual budget meeting was scheduled for July 18 in Pinedale in the Sublette County Commissioners meeting room at 8 p.m. Preliminary budget figures will be published in the near future. The next regular meeting will be in Pinedale July 10.

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