Hospital Corner – March, 2019

Hospital Corner – March, 2019

If you are like me when it comes to good news and bad news, let’s deal with the unpleasant first.  My internal clock went haywire earlier this month during the spring forward to daylight saving time, and I somehow ended up watching CBS Sunday Morning. One of the first segments dealt with hospitals similar to Mt. Grant General in small towns across America; grim news indeed but I couldn’t turn away.  Search for Critical Condition: The Crisis of Rural Medical Care to view the program if you missed it.  Nye County Regional’s closure a few years back is one of several now shuttered rural hospitals explored in depth.  Federal cuts to reimbursement rates are a factor for some (more than 60% of MGGH patients are Medicare or Medicaid, so this is critical to us).  I was fortunate to attend a meeting in Carson City a few weeks ago with rural state legislators where this very topic was a primary focus.  Rural administrators were loud and clear on the challenges small hospitals contend with daily to survive.

Mt. Grant General Hospital will host our Wellness Expo on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Mineral County Fire Department.  Our Wellness Committee has been working very hard to provide participants with a variety of information to promote wellness in our community.  We hope to bring an abundance of exhibitors for participants to receive information, and be able to talk to experts about wellness, such as hand washing, preventative benefits, colon test kits, heart and vascular health, fitness, St Mary’s Cyber Knife, nutrition, available local resources, Kid’s Corner, Telemedicine, Nurse Heath Line and much more.Plus participants will receive a raffle ticket from each exhibitor visited for a chance at awesome RAFFLE PRIZES! Please mark your calendars now, and watch for additional information to come as this event unfolds.  If you are interested in joining our expo, sharing information, or setting up a table please contact Jeri Lynne Lande or Carol Lemieux at 945-2461.

The 2019 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) star ratings for hospitals across the country were recently published.  Most small district hospitals like MGGH are typically rated one or two stars—many reasons for this. For one, we are not part of a larger corporate entity that has staff devoted fulltime to improving quality metrics (how star ratings are determined).  We also are too small to participate in some of these quality measurements.  Nevertheless, for the first time in recent memory, Mt. Grant received a three star rating.  Dedicated staff members wear many hats, nurses foremost among them, to make this possible.  No doubt you have seen fancy commercials on TV for big city hospitals; while we don’t have a budget for such expenses, our level of caring and commitment to quality healthcare is as great, if not more so, then you will find in metropolitan areas.

The best news is worth waiting for (hope you agree).  We have been actively searching for another physician to fill vacancy open since January.    Drum roll, please: Dr. Sharon Ruch is returning this spring to Mt. Grant General.  She has worked the past several years in Las Vegas but now misses Hawthorne and is eager to rejoin our staff.  I hope the community is as excited as we are.  If all goes as planned, look for her to start accepting patients this May.  My thanks to Drs. Ventura and Dofeliz, Laura Millsap and Tobey Morris for making room in their busy clinic schedules for extra patients the past few months; David Cain as well for filling in as needed.  Happy Spring!

Hugh Qualls, Administrator