The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Hospital District completes renovation projects at EARH


Last updated 10/4/2018 at Noon

Renovation projects at East Adams Rural Healthcare are drawing to a close with the completion of concrete work on sidewalks and roof replacements.

At the Board of Commissioners meeting on Sept. 27, the commissioners approved a contractor to complete the concrete work at the hospital.

A full roof replacement was completed on the physical therapy building, and additional improvements were made to the hospital’s roof, following an ongoing issue with leaking.

Bostrom said funds were released to Leone and Keeble, with the exception of $15,000 being withheld until there is a substantial rain to test the effectiveness of the roof.

The commissioners approved Pete Spain Construction to complete the sidewalk work around the district property. The district received two bids to complete the project, with Pete Spain Construction being the low bidder at $10,554.60.

The project includes replacement and completion of sidewalks from the physical therapy building to the previous administration building on Washington Street. The project will also include replacement of the driveway, as well as some repair to the sidewalk at the corner.

CEO/CFO Gary Bostrom said the project will mean there is continuous sidewalk around the entire hospital. This will allow patients with accessibility to a level and safe walking area while they are staying at the facility.

Bostrom also provided an update regarding mammography services at the hospital. The initial plan was to partner with Assured Imaging for mobile mammography, but the program does not seem to meet the needs of the community.

Assured Imaging wanted a guaranteed number of patients in order to offer the service, and only planned to come to the community three times a year.

Bostrom said they would not travel to Ritzville during the winter months, and also would not be providing 3D mammography, which is becoming standard for most mammography providers.

Bostrom added Samaritan Health offered to take a van to transport patients to Spokane for mammography services, but would need a full van of patients in order to make the trip.

Dr. Marty Sackmann provided a medical staff update regarding transports to Spokane. The local emergency medical services (EMS) has been effective and professional in providing transports, Sackmann said, but patient admittance in Spokane continues to be an issue.

Sackmann explained the district only has control over transport, whether by ambulance or Life Flight, but does not have any control over admittance. Moses Lake and Tri-Cities hospitals are always alternatives, but ultimately the hospital choice is the decision of the patient or the type of medical need.

In an effort to improve communication between administration and staff, Bostrom explained the district will now be sending minutes from management meetings and board meetings to ensure EARH staff are informed about the happenings within the district.

The district recently hired a new care coordinator and is continuing to look to fill nursing positions at the hospital. Bostrom said the district is continuing to utilize recruitment firms to find a doctor, but the last two candidates were misrepresented by the recruiter.

EARH recorded a positive net income for the year with $25,143, following a net income of $373,645 for the current month. Bostrom explained the large amount of revenue is due mainly to skilled swing bed payments.

In additional to swing bed payments, the district also had a total cash collection for August of $1,067,672. This collection is due in part to the training provided by Eide Bailey to the hospital billing department staff on collections.

The accounts receivable decreased by 6.9 days from the previous month, but the gross accounts receivable is at 205.31 days.

The next meeting of the EARH commissioners is Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the conference room.


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