Letter -- Plan is presented for center's financial stability
To the editor: On behalf of the Richardton Memorial Hospital and Health Center (RMH) board of directors, I would like to thank The Dickinson Press for its coverage of our community meeting held Jan. 27, 2008, in Richardton. The purpose of the mee...
To the editor:
On behalf of the Richardton Memorial Hospital and Health Center (RMH) board of directors, I would like to thank The Dickinson Press for its coverage of our community meeting held Jan. 27, 2008, in Richardton.
The purpose of the meeting was to communicate the critical financial and other issues facing the RMH organization today and in the future, our vision for the future and the direction it will be pursuing to terminate its critical access hospital (CAH) designation. As many of you know, St. Joseph's Hospital and Health Center (SJH) is experiencing signification financial issues as well and is pursuing the CAH designation as one of several strategies to address its financial crisis.
However, they cannot acquire this designation due to federal rules that prohibit a CAH being located within 35 miles of another CAH.
It's important for people to understand that RMH acquired this designation in 2001 o enhance payments from the Medicare program. This designation has been critical for RMH to continue serving the greater Richardton community.
If RMH was to terminate its CAH designation, we would have to close. We recognize the importance of the CAH designation to SJH and a "win-win" situation exists for both organizations to address immediate and long-term financial needs.
It's the intention of RMH to pursue a direction which results in it being able to terminate its CAH designation. We have developed and have communicated our plans to SJH, our community and others.
For RMH to terminate its CAH designation the following needs to be accomplished: Successfully convert to a licensed skills nursing facility with a provider-based rural health clinic and achieve our fundraising goals through our capital campaign.
To accomplish this, RMH must acquire up to 20 skilled nursing home beds, comply with federal and state licensing rules and regulations, acquire waivers of existing state laws, rules and regulations (new nursing home bed moratorium, nursing home payment system cost limits and ownership of a medical clinic by an entity other than a physician or hospital) and raise significant financial resources through its fundraising.
RMH believes a "win-win" solution exists, requiring a community working partnership involving RMH, SJH, government entities, health care provides and most importantly, individuals and organizations throughout the greater Richardton and Dickinson communities. We are hopeful and optimistic our plan will succeed and ask for your support and involvement in this effort.