by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG- Starting a series of meetings for the Community Health Needs Assessment on Sept. 19 at the Spanish Peaks Library, the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center analyzed their economic impact in the community.
The hospital employs 351 fulltime-equivalent employees, which generates around 77 additional jobs in the community to support the hospital staff. Combined, the hospital contributes 428 jobs to Huerfano County.
SPRHC has received a Health Resources and Services Administration grant totaling $900,000 over the next three years. The funds will be used to start the cooperative data center for all of rural Colorado. Currently six hospitals are interested in the project, and the hospital is working to bring rural physicians into the concept to help them meet their Integrated Technology needs.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable, with many programs aimed at underserved rural areas of the nation.
SPRHC has been working to develop electronic medical records (EMR). By the end of the month, the hospital will be attesting to meaningful use on the EMR project. Once that step is completed, they will be able to submit for reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), for some of the related expenditures, which could be as much as $320,000.
The Huerfano County Hospital District posted an operation profit for August. The hospital reported a gain of $70,039, but that fell far short of the $204,572 budgeted for revenue in the same period. However year-to-date excess of revenues over expenses is at $94,351.
Postings for the year-to-date net profit for the Huerfano County Hospital District is at $172,932. A loss was posted for August by the Spanish Peaks Hospital. The budget anticipated a $127,015 profit, however a net loss of $20,067 showed on the books. Lower net patient revenues and higher expenses contributed to the net loss.
Other operating revenue was up $79,031 however, due to the receipt of outreach grants and recording of EMR expenses that are reimbursed through a hospital grant, overall total hospital operating expenses were $53,401 over budget with all expense categories except wages, supplies, lease-rents, and utilities reflecting higher than anticipated amounts.
The hospital cumulative net operating loss was posted at $905,606 on Aug. 31, 2011.
Patient census was higher then expected at the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home. The nursing home was looking at a census count of 105 but actually logged a count of 109. The higher-than-budgeted census allowed the CSVNH to post a $76,180 profit for August, $11,333 over budget. Nursing home expenses fell short of budget by $37,687.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward