HUERFANO — Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center CEO Todd Oberheu told the Huerfano County Hospital District Board of Directors last week the hospital may soon be able to offer long-term care beds. In his report to the board on April 24, he said “We received notice this week that the state has approved us for Medicaid swing beds. We will begin looking at the steps necessary for us to move in that direction.” If this happens, it will not only mean unanticipated revenue for the hospital, but how quickly the beds are allocated will be something the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation will be interested in as they continue plans to develop an assisted living center adjacent to the SPRHC campus. In fact, Oberheu said in his report, “The community foundation is holding meetings around the county to discuss the assisted living project and increase membership and contributions for the project.” In other business, Oberheu announced Dr. James Mosby has submitted his resignation as the ER Medical Director. He said Mosby will be working at Spanish Peaks
through June 2014. Michael E. Rowe, CPA, of Stockman, Kast & Ryan, presented the detailed annual audit report during the finance committee meeting prior to the regular monthly board meeting. He reported no material adjustments were necessary and there were no deficiencies found in government programs. He said it was a good audit with $350,000 in revenues over expenses, compared to an estimated loss of $120,000 last year. He mentioned decreasing patient volumes, but said that was not surprising with no marked growth in population in either Walsenburg or Huerfano County. Oberheu reported going ‘live’ with the new EMR (electronic medical records) system has not been painless, with physicians having to spend additional time entering data. He said he has met with executives with Healthland (the system provider) recently to discuss some of the problems the hospital is facing. Oberheu also mentioned a community concern. “Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern,” he said. “Our practitioners are working hard to improve the situation. Of the last ten complaints I have received, nine were complaints related to practitioners restricting their narcotics. It’s a significant problem in our community. I don’t get complaints about quality of care, I get complaints about this,” Oberheu said. Administration continues to work on completing a contract for the proposed new location for the La Veta clinic, but broadband access continues to be an issue. Oberheu also reported the hospital foundation will be giving away an additional $3,000 in scholarships in 2014. Marty Schlink, Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home/ Walsenburg Administrator, reported the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment presurvey team was at the facility in April as staff prepares for the department’s annual survey. Schlink said staff are working to identify all the things that will need to be changed when state veterans nursing homes’ names change this summer. The local facility will be known as Walsenburg Veterans Community Living Center when the statewide change goes into effect in August. She reported continued efforts in marketing and admissions as staff members attend conferences and trade shows and mentioned Roger Watkins and Brian Ortiz attended the Veteran Service Officer Conference in Denver. She said Kori Paisley and Lori Cordova attended the trade show to promote the Walsenburg facility. Schlink also reported, “Risa Berry presented to a large audience, via a webinar conducted by the Colorado Health Care Association, on the evacuation response by the veterans home nursing department (during the East Peak Fire). She received many compliments as well as gratitude for the helpful information in the face of such a disaster.” She said Dave McGraw has also given presentations regarding the nursing home’s response to the fire. He has made presentations in Omaha, Denver and, most recently, at the Colorado Hospital Association Rural Hospital Conference in Denver last week. Both the nursing home and SPRHC are becoming well known throughout the state and western US region for the preparations they put in place during the East Peak fire. Schlink also reported the ‘Rolling for Freedom’ committee met on April 19 and had 14 individuals in attendance as the group plans for this year’s rally. She said not only did staff attend, but also members of the Blue Knights law enforcement motorcycle club. She reported ‘Rolling for Freedom Inc.’ is now a not-for-profit corporation, which is considering applying for 501(c)(3) status.