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January 18, 2013
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Investment in eastern GC health care sees encouraging returns

GRANBY/KREMMLING - From starting out the year with twin births to the 2012-13 flu season, the new Middle Park Medical Center in Granby has completed its first year of operation, and officials are saying the center has stayed busy.

"It really went quite well," said Middle Park Medical's Kremmling Memorial Hospital District CFO Cole White, who is now acting co-CEO upon the recent resignation of former CEO Bill Widener. "We're building a better communication with the community and more people are coming in to use us."

Financials up to the month of November show the medical centers of Granby, Kremmling and Walden with a net income of $1 million, an increase of $1.4 million over the $400,000 loss that had been budgeted, according to White.

Looking though the lens of operations, the centers were budgeted to lose $1.8 million, but ended up faring much better at a $1.5 million loss, White said. And the district is budgeting to break even in 2013.

In every category but inpatient stays and surgeries, the hospital district saw a marked increase in use, primarily due to the new medical center in Granby, which opened on Jan. 1, 2012.

Emergency room visits increased by 365 percent with the addition of an emergency facility in eastern Grand County. In all, there were 4,548 E.R. visits to Middle Park campuses in 2012.

Cole said prior to the new medical facility in Granby, the district still captured patients from the east end of the county, which accounted for about 50 percent of the Kremmling facility's visitation.

Radiology saw a 171 percent increase in use from 2011 to 2012; Labs experienced a 95 percent increase; physical therapy a 71 percent increase; clinic visits a 20 percent increase; and GI procedures a 30 percent increase.

There was a greater number of overnight stays and surgeries in the district than in 2011, but lower than anticipated, according to White. Losses in those departments are not surprising, he said, due to the overall trend in health care with drops in inpatient volumes and shorter lengths of stays in hospitals.

In regard to the increase in use across the board, "The overall injection into the county is substantial," White said. Collectible bills sent out to patients equated to $10 million more than in 2011, with about 60 percent of that tied back to employee wages and benefits.

"Dollars stay right here in the county," White said.

The district started 2011 with 80 employees, and because of the opening of the new medical center, the closure of Granby Medical Center in Granby and the absorption of those employees, plus the absorption of some of the Howard Head Sports Medicine employees when that office moved from the county, the district now has 180 employees.

In 2012, The Middle Park Medical Center in Granby has worked to add more specialty services, conducts urgent care on Saturdays with no appointments, has a mobile MRI and digital mammography, and the district as a whole has gone live with electronic medical records. "We've been utilizing it in almost every facet of the hospital," White said.

Thus, the Kremmling Memorial Hospital District had an active year more ways than not. "We set out to increase access to care and in 2012, we managed a way to build the Middle Park Medical Center, Granby, and took North Park Medical Center under our umbrella," said Carmen Convington, chief nursing officer of Middle Park Medical. "Middle Park Medical Center passed stringent health inspections in multiple departments, and we also achieved critical access designation for both hospitals - Kremmling and Granby. We also implemented new technology, opened up surgical services and a gastro-intestinal laboratory for the first time on the east side of the county, all while preserving most services at the hospital in Kremmling."

With the first year of the Middle Park Medical Center in Granby under the district's belt, the district is budgeting for about a 15 percent revenue increase in 2013, White said.


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The Sky-Hi News Updated Jan 18, 2013 02:50PM Published Jan 18, 2013 02:45PM Copyright 2013 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.