RHCD board, staff ‘interview’ Quorum

Motorcycle crash leaves one dead, one hospitalized

PINEDALE – A motorcycle crash Saturday, May 26, at milepost 2 on Fremont Lake Road killed a Casper man and left a Pinedale woman in the hospital.

According to the report filed by the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Jake Byers, 28, of Casper was pronounced dead at the scene. Katrina Dohrmann, 23, of Pinedale was transported to the Pinedale Medical Clinic and flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls for additional treatment. She was discharged May 28.

The 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle, driven by Byers, was northbound on Fremont Lake Road at 2:15 a.m. when it left the road to the right at a curve and flipped. According the Wyoming Highway Patrol report, speed was listed as a factor in the crash. No other vehicles were involved. Neither Byers nor Dohrmann wore helmets at the time of the crash.

This is the 38th fatality on Wyoming roads in 2018, compared to 38 in 2017, 24 in 2016 and 49 in 2015, according to figures provided by the Wyoming Highway Patrol. n

By Joy Ufford

[email protected]

PINEDALE – As plans continue to build a critical access hospital in Pinedale, administrators and trustees for the Sublette County Rural Health Care District interviewed one management company for potential leadership and services and will hear from another on Monday.

Wednesday, RHCD board members Laura Clark and John Godfrey along with Dr. Dave Kappenman and other Pinedale Medical Clinic department heads met to learn more about Quorum Health Resources, which specializes in rural health-care facilities with an emphasis on CAHs.

Quorum’s regional vice president Bill Donatelli made an informal presentation in the Public Health Conference Room about his company’s management options that at the top tier offer multi-year, full-service contracts and recruit and employ CEOs.

That level usually comes with a three- to five-year contract and “access to everything” for about $300,000 a year, he said.

Besides the full-service package, Quorum has a “significant leadership team” to serve clients with specific needs or just one-time consultation, he said.

For example, Quorum could recruit a CEO with a three-year contract that the RHCD would employ. Other options are consulting services for Medicare reimbursements, cost-flow analysis, compliance requirements and CAH certification. It does not provide legal services, audits or feasibility studies.

“Most of our company’s time is spent with community hospitals, rural hospitals,” he said.

Quorum’s management includes more than 80 small-town CAH clients, about 200 community and rural hospital clients and more than 700 clients over the past 40 years.

Park County’s CAH and some rural Colorado CAHs and hospitals are clients, he added. He said Quorum also works with rural hospitals converting to CAHs to gain more Medicare reimbursements.

Practice manager Amanda Key noted some larger hospitals converted to CAHs because their patient numbers had dropped. Godfrey said those converted hospitals offer 25 beds.

Clark asked what is the average CAH size managed by Quorum.

“Some have revenues of less than $10 million,” he said. “Cody is probably the biggest county-owned CAH with average revenues of $20 million in revenues. We run the gamut in terms of size.”

CFO Lorraine Gatzke related their CAH started with 25 beds and was cut to six at Lorraine Werner’s request. The entire facility design was also downsized with Werner suggesting a $20-million project rather than the estimated $28 million.

Werner is state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program, which is considering funds for the proposed Sublette County Medical Center.

“Reimbursement is our most experienced

department,” he said.

Discussion arose about when and how to find and keep an administrative leader – perhaps not a CEO but a “coordinator” – to guide CAH construction while complying with strict regulations, schedules and processes.

“We’re going through ups and downs of getting this finalized and moving forward,” Godfrey said. “There’s a lot of work to be done before we open those doors and a lot to be done after opening those doors and moving to (CAH) accreditation.”

Dr. Kappenman noted, “The USDA wants to see leadership on this.”

Donatelli told them the RHCD needs a CEO that is a “good fit for the community. You beat the bushes a little bit to find the right person.”

“On the question of a CEO, there’s one missing element,” Godfrey said. “The spouse is never interviewed. … If his wife is into shopping…”

“Or her husband,” said Key.

Donatelli said Quorum spends a full day with candidates and shows them and spouses around the community and “try and see if they fit in.”

The RHCD might consider an enthusiastic “newbie” or an experienced manager who is looking to slow down, he suggested.

“In Sublette County it’s going to be the number-one job to get everybody to love him,” Godfrey said.

Key added, “Or her.”

The group also discussed Werner’s request that the RHCD consider building the CAH on the existing Pinedale Medical Clinic site. County commissioners did offer to sell it and will reveal the county’s asking price at their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 5. The board prefers a 16-acre site in Bloomfield west of town.

Donatelli reviewed the downsized design and noted a lack of room for expansion and parking at the clinic site.

“If you build here, you have to go up to four stories,” he said.

Clark said she and Godfrey will report back to the other RHCD board members with details from Wednesday’s meeting.

On Monday, June 4, RHCD board members and staff will hear from Cypress Health about hospital management options at 9 a.m. in the Public Health Conference Room in Pinedale.

The public is welcome; questions and answers will be limited to trustees and staff. n

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