Construction on new hospital addition coming along

TONASKET – Construction on the new hospital addition is coming along, as was reported during the North Valley Hospital board’s meeting on Thursday, Oct. 29.

John Boyd, support services supervisor, reported that there were issues on pouring the concrete in the generator area that stirred a discussion. The problems are being worked on, however. The roof was poured on Oct. 29 and the framing work began on Monday for the exterior walls. The goal is to have the exterior walls framed and ready for roofing in two weeks.

Ty Olson Construction was awarded the bid to build the retaining wall between the Catholic Church and the new Whitcomb parking lot for $6,399.80.

During the meeting, the board had a public hearing for the 2010 Preliminary Budget. In this hearing, the board primarily discussed cash flow and the paying down of the warrants along with efforts to improve revenue.

“Okanogan County Public Hospital District No. 4 doing business as North Valley Hospital (the District) is well into its fiscal year 2009,” the preliminary budget states. “The District has been successful in recruiting new providers. It has four family practice/emergency room physicians, a general surgeon and two ARNPs on staff. This model has enabled the district to cover the emergency department 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with these providers instead of having to use very expensive locum tenens coverage. The Tonasket Family Medical Clinic which was started in July 2008 has grown at a rapid pace.”

The preliminary budget also discussed the construction for the new hospital addition, stating that the estimate for the project is currently over budget by about $400,000.

“Year to date through September 2009, the district shows a loss of $555,000 ($620,000 loss from the Hospital/Clinic Division and $65,000 profit from the Long Term Care (LTC) Division),” the preliminary budget states. “For those nine months hospital gross revenue is higher than budget by about $350,000, nursing home revenue is about $274,000 over budget and assisted living revenue is almost at budget.”

The preliminary budget goes on to state that the district’s 2008 cost report showed a receivable of $236,000 from Medicare which was received in September 2009. The district is continuing to pay its 2006 and 2007 Proshare repayments each month. As of Sept. 30, 2009, the registered warrants owed to the Okanogan County Treasurer are about $2.4 million.

Wayne Verbeck of the bond committee reported that he has had a good time talking to people about the bond levy and that he’s heard very little negative talk.

The hospital has entered into a contract with the Northwest Credentialing Service out of Bremerton, Wash. to work on the medical staff credential process. Willa Bedient, medical staff coordinator, said she is very impressed with Northwest Credentialing Service’s professionalism and that a recent survey on their business showed 100 percent on quality issues.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next hospital board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.